Analysis Of ' Let Us Take A Horse ' Essay

Analysis Of ' Let Us Take A Horse ' Essay

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Anne Conway: “Let us take a horse, which is a creatures endured with diverse degrees of perfection by his creator, as not only strength of body, but (as I may so say) a certain kind of knowledge, how he ought to serve his master, and moreover also love, fear,courage, memory, and diverse other qualities which are in man:which also we may observe in a dog and many other animals.”

Paraphrase the quote.

First we should consider a horse, an animal with various levels of excellence given to it by God. God gave horses not only a physical greatness but also a level of wisdom, these include how they should obey their owner. But horses were also given many human like attributes such as love and memory, these characteristics can also be seen in other animals such as dogs.

2. Quote in context of the text.

Conway is laying the groundwork for the rest of her argument through the use of this particular quote. The philosopher explains the manner in which humans and other animals such as horses are alike in essential qualities, such as emotions. These qualities are something each creature shares with one another, due to our essences, our spirits being similar in important ways. These similarities come from God’s design, though humans were created under His image, animals were created under man’s images. This creation Conway explains makes animals (spiritually) subordinate to man. Though there is a difference in spiritual greatness all creatures share the same ability to change in “manner” but retain their very essence. Through philosophical inquiry Conway uses this idea to question whether God’s “justice” can be fulfilled through a change in form.

Much of Anne Conway’s arguments in The Principles of the Most Ancie...


... middle of paper ...


...hat is my assessment or criticism on the text?
Can God’s justice be fulfilled through the placement of a creature’s soul/essence? Does placing a soul of someone who showcased animalistic qualities during their lifetime in the creature it encapsulated create a balance? Philosopher Anne Conway believes this justice through balance is possible, but at times it seems like her logic is twisted.
If the point is for the soul to ascend into heaven through time repenting their sinful ways then why would we place a person into the body of the thing that most encapsulates what made it not righteous? Would this not force the soul to do the same “brute” like actions that placed it in the situation it currently is in? In some ways the philosopher’s ideas make sense, repention through the essence’s placement and form, it also seems as though the logic turns back on it self.

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