Marginalia, no.302

Except for the foulness of their bottoms, you would scarcely believe they were animals.

~ Athanasius Kircher, China Illustrated

Kircher is describing apes. It’s not clear that he ever saw one himself. But the notion that toilet hygiene is what separates Sentient Man from Unphilosophic Beast is a nice one. If you’ve ever seen a hippo relieve himself, you know that he is soulless. The cat, on the other hand, suggests sentience, but she only achieves her cleanliness by a filthy maneuver.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Marginalia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s