Thread Tools
Old 07-24-2007, 06:19 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Al Capone's Vault
Posts: 1,396
"Anthropomorphism" antonym?

Is there a reasonable antonym for anthropomorphism? (The ascribing of non-human, animal or inanimate traits onto human beings) A Google search suggests that it's not, but I thought somebody here might know.
Old 07-24-2007, 06:22 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: TX
Posts: 13,386
Metaphorphism?
Old 07-24-2007, 06:36 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: NE Ohio (the 'burbs)
Posts: 39,812
Xenomorphism?
Old 07-24-2007, 06:39 PM
Guest
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 6,967
Quote:
Originally Posted by micahjn
Is there a reasonable antonym for anthropomorphism? (The ascribing of non-human, animal or inanimate traits onto human beings) A Google search suggests that it's not, but I thought somebody here might know.
Except for "non-human," I don't think so, but I'm not sure the term "antonym" applies to what you are looking for. The idea behind anthropomorphism is to take a fairly narrow set of traits--human--and apply them elsewhere. Anthropomorphizing a god, e.g.

To do the reverse would be to take an infinite set of traits (all possible non-human traits) and apply them to humans. One word wouldn't do with the exception of "non-human" because the range is too broad.

Thus you might have "robotic" or "mechanical" but you also have an endless parade of "xxx-like" such as "god-like" or "cat-like" and a variety of ordinary adjectives such as "wooden."
Old 07-25-2007, 06:06 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Bristol, UK
Posts: 1,904
'Objectification' works - as in pornography reducing women to the level of sex objects, say.
Old 07-25-2007, 06:18 AM
Guest
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: London, UK
Posts: 2,450
Dehumanise?
Old 07-25-2007, 08:11 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 6,152
Would zoomorphism or theriomorphism work?
Old 07-25-2007, 08:42 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: 192.168.0.1
Posts: 9,844
Quote:
Originally Posted by Staggerlee
'Objectification' works - as in pornography reducing women to the level of sex objects, say.
IMHO that works pretty well at least with animals since to objectify is to remove personal emotional value, anthropomorphism is adding in emotional value that probably should not exist.
Old 07-25-2007, 08:51 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Denver, CO, USA
Posts: 2,455
[completely irrelevant story]
I learned the meaning of anthropomorphism from reading the comic Calvin and Hobbes. In one strip, Calvin asks his mom why she is crying, and she responds with "I'm chopping up onions." His response was "I hate it when mom anthropomorphizes the vegetables", which led me to my dictionary. The brilliance of that comic is why it has always been my favorite.
[/completely irrelevant story]
Old 07-26-2007, 12:33 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Al Capone's Vault
Posts: 1,396
Thanks for the responses!
Old 07-26-2007, 10:22 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Vegas, baby!
Posts: 3,647
Quote:
Originally Posted by micahjn
Is there a reasonable antonym for anthropomorphism? (The ascribing of non-human, animal or inanimate traits onto human beings)
"Furry."

Oh, wait, did I misunderstand?
Old 06-10-2011, 02:40 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1
Theriomorphism

The word you're looking for is Theriomorphism.
Old 06-10-2011, 05:31 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 521
And what's the word for ascribing of non-human, animal or inanimate traits onto zombies?
Old 06-10-2011, 05:43 AM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,268
Quote:
Originally Posted by blue infinity View Post
And what's the word for ascribing of non-human, animal or inanimate traits onto zombies?
non-mortusmorphism

But reanimation can be helpful. It appears to have provided the correct answer for the first time in this thread. Even if the OP no longer cares to know, the answer will be there for posterity's sake when others find it through web searches on the subject.
Old 06-10-2011, 06:01 AM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,268
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazyhorse View Post
non-mortusmorphism

But reanimation can be helpful. It appears to have provided the correct answer for the first time in this thread. Even if the OP no longer cares to know, the answer will be there for posterity's sake when others find it through web searches on the subject.
I take that back it looks like Dr. Drake closed the coffin on post #7.
Old 06-10-2011, 09:52 AM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 38,863
Thropomorphism
Old 06-11-2011, 02:20 AM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Ainran
Posts: 11,449
Fukitalmorphism.
Old 06-12-2011, 04:51 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,521
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Drake View Post
Would zoomorphism or theriomorphism work?
Came in to suggest zoomorphism. I think most readers would parse it in the way the OP intends.
Old 06-12-2011, 10:27 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Sunny Florida, but someti
Posts: 4,583
Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Thropomorphism
Not quite - anthropomorphism is not limited in apllication to animals.

I thinik Szlater had it right: dehumanization is the antonym. The application of non-human traits to human beings is the opposite of applying human traits to non-human things.
Old 06-14-2011, 02:02 AM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Escondido, CA
Posts: 6,728
Mmmm. Going to have to disagree with you, Spiritus. Dehumanization is not a comparison. It is the act of taking away, removing, or denying the traits which make us human. It is not the assignment of non-human traits to human.

New, but related question: is there a word that describes denying a trait or characteristic in an animal because the speaker believes the trait can only exist in humans? For instance, there are those who say that animals do not experience emotions; only humans can. I would disagree with this, citing personal experience with pets and other animals. What error would I accuse the other speaker of?
Old 06-14-2011, 02:16 AM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Escondido, CA
Posts: 6,728
Wikipedia lists theomorphism when humans are attributed with divine traits (ie: "In His image, He created them."), but that's all I can find for that matter.

Anthropocentrism seems to be the word I'm looking for, but I don't know if it has quite the right nuance.
Old 06-14-2011, 11:00 AM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Sunny Florida, but someti
Posts: 4,583
Quote:
Mmmm. Going to have to disagree with you, Spiritus. Dehumanization is not a comparison. It is the act of taking away, removing, or denying the traits which make us human. It is not the assignment of non-human traits to human.
Tom-A-to, tom-ah-to. It is a descriptive action. "Denying [human] traits" is functionally indistinguishable from assigning non-human traits. "He is emotionless". "He lacks emotion". Both statements are dehumanizing.
Quote:
is there a word that describes denying a trait or characteristic in an animal because the speaker believes the trait can only exist in humans? For instance, there are those who say that animals do not experience emotions; only humans can. I would disagree with this, citing personal experience with pets and other animals. What error would I accuse the other speaker of?
Religion?

Joking aside, you might accuse them of Speciesism. I am not a fan of the word, but it does appear to be gaining acceptance. Human exceptionalism is another option.

Last edited by Spiritus Mundi; 06-14-2011 at 11:00 AM.
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:27 AM.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: [email protected]

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: vacation tan nuclear holocaust books children chopsticks popeye lyric dune alia amtrak food car honda pax system john lennon concerts warning ticket gneiss schist pun brain fever definition how long does it take to pass out from hanging cost of euthanasia for cat catnip equivalent for humans what is a veteran poem blank check pretending to be stupid where does the sky start bag balm for eye wrinkles unavailable out of area phone calls j&b scotch drinks trees in a field is the wire worth watching what is a ksi unit problems with authority figures psychology