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Animal as man, animal as machine
Charles Darwin is celebrated for his claim that man and primates developed from a common ancestor. Man has been, since Darwin, treated by science as a biological species and scientists often compare his faculties to the instincts of animals. At the same time, the other side of Darwin’s discovery is forgotten – animals are similar to man in their behaviour and emotions. While for Darwin himself an anthropomorphic view of animals was self-evident, many contemporary Darwinists prefer a mechanical model. These two contradictory tendencies are established here by reference to the work of the biologists Richard Dawkins and Frans de Waal. The difference of perspective from which animals are viewed can be best seen in connection with the problem-area of morality and its evolutionary origin. It is shown that the empirical orientation of de Waal is fundamentally closer to the Darwinian tradition of research than Dawkins’ theoretical approach.