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Onely proper unto man: dreaming and being human in the renaissance

Fudge, Erica (2007) Onely proper unto man: dreaming and being human in the renaissance. In: Reading the early modern dream: the terrors of the night. Routledge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture . Routledge, New York, pp. 31-44. ISBN 978-0-415-38601-2

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Abstract

In his 1631 translation of Gulielmus Adolphus Scribonius’ work Rerum naturalium doctrina methodica, Daniel Widdowes wrote, ‘All Creatures are reasonable, or unreasonable. They which want reason, are Beasts, who live on Land or in Water.’ This perception of the absolute difference of human from animal comes from classical sources and persists not only in the ways in which thinkers understood the place of humanity in the early modern period, but also - albeit in more debated form - remains important today. Man (and it usually was man) is the thinking being; this is where the superiority of the species comes from.