Anthropomorphobia

Blurring the line between people and products

Anthropomorphobia is the fear of recognizing human characteristics in non-human objects. The term is a hybrid of two Greek-derived words: ‘anthropomorphic’ means ‘of human form’ and ‘phobia’ means ‘fear’. Its symptoms are irrational panic attacks, disdain, revulsion, and confusion over things that change what it means to be human: plastic surgery, robots, and intelligent animals. Will anthropomorphobia eventually become public disease number one?

Anthropomorphobia

ESSAY BY Van Mensvoort
November 10th 2011

Are you familiar with the affliction? Anthropomorphobia is the fear of recognizing human characteristics in non-human objects. The term is a hybrid of two Greek-derived words: ‘anthropomorphic’ means ‘of human form’ and ‘phobia’ means ‘fear’.

Although anthropomorphobia was originally rare, with complaints limiting themselves to fairs and amusement parks with moving dummies that laughed at visitors, the blurring boundary between people and products is leading to increased problems. Complaints can be accompanied by irrational panic attacks, disdain, revulsion, and confusion about what it means to be human.

Will anthropomorphobia eventually become public disease number one? Or can anthropomorphobia serve as a guiding principle in the evolution of humanity?…

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