Animals, Language, And Free Will


Mark Vernon thinks about the difference between us and animals:

An essay by Herbert McCabe, called Animals and Us, is particularly interesting. He affirms that animals clearly have emotions – they grieve, rejoice, even fall in love. The main difference between their ‘sensitive life’ and ours (‘sensitive’ meaning the life that comes from having senses) is not, then, of kind but of intensity – and intensity meant in a certain kind of way, not along an axis of pleasure/pain, but rather in that we can transcend our sensitive life, to some degree, in language.

(Photo: Barbara Sax/Getty.)