FYS Essay #3

FYS Essay #3 - Amanda Jefferies FYS: Going to the Dogs...

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Amanda Jefferies FYS: Going to the Dogs Essay #3 John Berger’s belief that animals are marginalized both physically and culturally is supported by Descartes’ theory of dualism and the ultimate domestication of animals that leads to the decline of the animal. In Berger’s essay “Why Look at Animals?” he states: “They belonged there and here. Likewise they were mortal and immortal. ..They were subjected and worshipped, bred and sacrificed” (p.4-5). Berger reveals the dualism in our historical relationship with animals. Paradoxically, humans remain both like and unlike animals; the distinction is a social one reinforced by the role of language and cognitive thinking, tasks that animals supposedly do not do. Berger makes the distinction that humans have developed a language of symbols; even though the first symbols were animal in origin (i.e. early cave paintings depicting animals, the zodiac signs…etc). Attempting to be at one with nature and reinforcing the relationship with our own animal heritage (the chimpanzee) is part of the appeal of looking at animals. Descartes thought that the animal was just a machine without consciousness or thought. To reinforce our superiority,
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This note was uploaded on 04/27/2008 for the course FYS 101 taught by Professor Smith during the Fall '08 term at Southwestern.

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FYS Essay #3 - Amanda Jefferies FYS: Going to the Dogs...

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