慶應SFC 1999年 環境情報学部 英語 大問2 全文(正答済み)

 The greatest obstacle in science to investigating the emotions of other animals has been an inordinate desire to avoid anthropomorphism. Anthropomorphism means the ascription of human characteristics — thought, feeling, consciousness, and motivation — to the nonhuman. When people claim that the weather is conspiring to ruin their picnic or that a tree is their friend, they are anthropomorphizing. Few believe that the weather is plotting against them, but anthropomorphic ideas about animals are held more widely. Outside scientific circles, it is common to speak of the thoughts and feelings of pets and of wild and captive animals. Yet many scientists regard even the notion that animals feel pain as the grossest sort of anthropomorphic error.

 Science considers anthropomorphism toward animals a grave mistake, even a sin. It is common in science to speak of “committing” anthropomorphism. The term originally was religious, referring to the assigning of human form or characteristics to God — the hierarchical error of acting as though the merely human could be divine — hence the connotation of sin. In the long article on anthropomorphism in the 1908 Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, the author (Frank B. Jevons) writes: “The tendency to personify objects — whether objects of sense or objects of thought — which is found in animals and children as well as in savages, is the origin of anthropomorphism.” Men, the idea goes, create gods in their own image. The best-known example of this tendency comes from the Greek author Xenophanes (fifth century B.C.). He notes that Ethiopians represent the gods as black, Thracians depict them as blue-eyed and red-haired, and “if oxen and horses … had hands and could paint” their images of gods would depict oxen and horses. The philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach concluded that God is nothing but our projection, on a celestial screen, of the essence of man. In science, the sin against hierarchy is to assign human characteristics to animals. Just as humans could not be like God, now animals cannot be like humans (note who has taken God’s place).

 Young scientists are indoctrinated with the gravity of this error. As animal behaviorist* David McFarland explains, “They often have to be specially trained to resist the temptation to interpret the behavior of other species in terms of their normal behavior-recognition mechanisms.” In his recent book The New Anthropomorphism, behaviorist John S. Kennedy laments, “The scientific study of animal behavior was inevitably marked from birth by its anthropomorphic parentage and to a significant extent it still is. It has had to struggle to free itself from this erroneous approach and the struggle is not over. Anthropomorphism remains much more of a problem than most of today’s neobehaviorists believed…. If the study of animal behavior is to mature as a science, the process of liberation from the delusions of anthropomorphism must go on.” His hope is that “anthropomorphism will be brought under control, even if it cannot be cured completely. Although it is probably programmed into us genetically as well as being learned culturally, that does not mean the disease is untreatable.”

 To accuse a scientist of anthropomorphism is to make a severe criticism of unreliability. It is regarded as a species-confusion, a forgetting of the line between subject and object. To assign thoughts or feelings to a creature known incapable of them would, indeed, be a problem. But to ascribe to an animal emotions such as joy or sorrow is only anthropomorphic error if one knows that animals cannot feel such emotions. Many scientists have made this decision, but not on the basis of evidence. The situation is not so much that emotion is denied but that it is regarded as too dangerous — such a minefield of subjectivity that no investigation of it should take place. As a result, all but the most prominent scientists risk their reputations and credibility in venturing into this area. Thus many scientists may actually believe that animals have emotions, but be unwilling not only to say that they believe it, but unwilling to study it or encourage their students to investigate it. They may also attack other scientists who try to use the language of the emotions. Nonscientists who seek to retain scientific credibility must tread carefully. An administrator at one internationally known animal training institute remarked, “We don’t take a position on whether animals have emotions, but I’m sure if you talked to any one of us we’d say ‘Sure they have emotions.’ But as an organization we would not want to be depicted as saying they have emotions.”

 From the belief that anthropomorphism is a desperate error, a sin or a disease, flow further research taboos, including rules that dictate use of language. A monkey cannot be angry; it exhibits aggression. A crane does not feel affection; it displays courtship or parental behavior. A cheetah is not frightened by a lion; it shows flight behavior. In keeping with this, Frans de Waal’s use of the word reconciliation in reference to chimpanzees who come together after a fight has been criticized: Wouldn’t it be more objective to say “first postconflict contact”? In the struggle to be objective, this kind of language employs distance and the refusal to identify with another creature’s pain.

 Against this scientific orthodoxy, the biologist Julian Huxley has argued that to imagine oneself into the life of another animal is both scientifically justifiable and productive of knowledge. Huxley introduced one of the most extraordinary accounts of a deep and emotional tie between a human being and a free-living lioness, Joy Adamson’s Living Free, as follows: When people like Mrs.Adamson (or Darwin for that matter) interpret an animal’s gestures or postures with the aid of psychological terms — anger or curiosity, affection or jealousy — the strict behaviorist accuses them of anthropomorphism, of seeing a human mind at work within the animal’s skin. This is not necessarily so. The true ethologist* must be evolution-minded. After all, he is a mammal. To give the fullest possible interpretation of behavior he must have recourse to a language that will apply to his fellow-mammals as well as to his fellow­man. And such a language must employ subjective as well as objective terminology — fear as well as impulse to flee, curiosity as well as exploratory urge, maternal solitude in all its modulations in welcome addition to goodness knows what complication of behaviorist terminology.

 Huxley’s argument ran counter to mainstream scientific thinking when he wrote that in 1961, and it remains so today.

 The real problem underlying many of the criticisms of anthropomorphism is actually anthropocentrism. Placing humans at the center of all interpretation, observation, and concern, and dominant men at the center of that, has led to some of the worst errors in science, whether in astronomy, psychology, or animal behavior. Anthropocentrism treats animals as inferior forms of people and denies what they really are. It reflects a passionate wish to differentiate ourselves from animals, to make animals other, presumably in order to maintain humans at the top of the evolutionary hierarchy and the food chain. The notion that animals are wholly other from humans, despite our common ancestry, is more irrational than the notion that they are like us.

 But even if they were not like us at all, that is no reason to avoid studying them for their own sakes. The point has been made by J. E. R. Staddon that “psychology as a basic science should be about intelligent and adaptive behavior, wherever it is to be found, so that animals can be studied in their own right, for what they can teach us about the nature and evolution of intelligence, and not as if they were people or tools for the solution of human problems.” The knowledge obtained from such study, whether or not it contributes to the solution of human problems, is still knowledge.



* behaviorist : Scientists who believe in the theory that human or animal psychology can be accurately studied only through the examination and analysis of objectively observable behavior, in contrast with subjective mental states.

* ethologist : scientists who are engaged in the study of animal behavior.




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