Anthropomorphism is from the Greek [ anthropos] meaning human, and [ morphe] which means form. It is the doctrine of ascribing human form or human attributes to a deity. In Christianity it is when people ascribe human features like hands, legs, feet, or other such human characteristics, to God. [ back
( AN·thro·po·MOR·phism). The attribution of human characteristics, e.g., hands, feet, emotions, and the like, to nonhuman beings or objects. People often use anthropomorphic terms to describe God. For most people to not do so relegates God to ethereal terms hard to understand. But does God have form and shape? These are anthropomorphic terms. Christians divide over this issue some viewing the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament in more literal terms and others in metaphoric terms.
The representation of a non-human as a human. God in the earlier parts of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) is described in human terms, as having a body. Sometimes anthropomorphism is extended to animals who are assumed to have human feelings.
the ascription of human characteristics or motives to inanimate objects, natural phenomena, or supernatural things. Many major religious systems -- among them Judaism and Christianity -- share anthropomorphic qualities. An example is the belief that human beings are "made in God's image," or that God is a personal deity sensitive and responsive to human need and pain, or more commonly, that God is an elderly man with a long gray beard sitting somewhere in the sky on his celestial throne.
Assigning human qualities and traits to non-human animals. Because most of us were nurtured on programs like Walt Disney, many of us grew up believing that wild animals have human thoughts, feelings, and emotions. In reality, they don't. To say that: "My Purple Martins feel sad when it's time to migrate back to Brazil" is to speak anthropomorphically. Still, many martin landlords enjoy their martins primarily because they perceive the natural world in an anthropomorphic way.
The use of human characteristics to describe God; for example, the attribution of human emotions and human body parts to God. This is usually considered to be symbolic or figurative language to aid man in understanding the nature of God.
The presentation of animals or objects in human shape or with human characteristics. The term is derived from the Greek word for "human form." The Fable s of Aesop, the animated films of Walt Disney, and Richard Adams's Watership Down feature anthropomorphic character s. (Compare with Personification.)
To impute human characteristics to the non-human realm. To think of a storm a being angry, for instance, is to take an anthropomorphic attitude with respect to the storm. Watson here is concerned with imputing human conscious states to animals, a "mistake" warned against by the English zoologist and psychologist C. Lloyd Morgan (1852-1936) in his famous canon: "In no case may we interpret an action as the outcome of a higher psychical faculty, if it can be interpreted as the outcome of one which stands lower on the psychological scale (1894, An Introduction to Comparative Psychology). Morgan also invented the term "trial-and-error learning" and was a key advocate of "emergentism" with respect to mental phenomena.
( adj. anthropomorphic) A Greek term for the attribution of human behavior or characteristics to inanimate objects, animals, natural phenomena, or deity; with regard to deity, anthropomorphism became a point of theological discussion in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. See Part 1.
Anthropomorphism, also called personification, is the attribution of human characteristics and qualities to nonhuman beings, inanimate objects, or natural or supernatural phenomena. A form of personification (applying human or animal qualities to inanimate objects), anthropomorphism is similar to prosopopoeia (adopting the persona of another person). Animals, forces of nature, and unseen or unknown sources of chance are frequent subjects of anthropomorphosis.