(5,252 words)

1. Natural philosophy

1.1. Distinction from human

Directly or indirectly, the concept of the animal was frequently contrasted with that of the human in the early modern period [10]. Initially, it was used to define the sphere of philosophical anthropology (Humanity). Only later did “animal” come to denote an object of zoological study (Zoology). This anthropocentric perspective is clearly seen, for instance, in Renaissance printed editions of medieval bes…

Cite this page
Smith, Justin E.H., Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe and Sieglerschmidt, Jörn, “Animal”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 19 January 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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