Human Differences Between Humans And Animals

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Humans have long been recognized as earth’s superior animal species. This superiority is based on several factors, including intelligence, emotions, and language. Language in particular, developed as a result of higher intelligence, separates humans from other animals in more ways than one would initially consider. This distinctly human trait is the key to understanding the cause of everyday social interactions and tensions. Humans experience unique problems with gender and sexual orientation discrimination because we are complex enough to have developed this language and the accompanying labels and symbolism we use to define ourselves and the other people with whom we interact. According to Susanne Langer, a distinguished philosopher, a key difference between humans and animals is our unique ability to apply symbolism behind words and objects (106). She states, “Animals think, but they think of and at things; men think primarily about things,” (106). This is the basis for our human need to categorize and define our surroundings and experiences. Without defining our surroundings, we would not be able to think about them at a later time. In order to do this, we need names. Langer says, “Names are the essence of language; for the name is what abstracts the conception of the [object] from the [object] itself,” (108). Humans need to categorize, categorizing requires using language, and using language requires names. Needing names to categorize, unlike animals, is why humans are
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