Tuesday, March 3, 2015

What Makes Man Different from Animals.22

"So why do the animals only know how to provide for their first and most crude needs, while we infinitely vary our enjoyments and increase them constantly?
What makes us superior in this to animals is that we use our soul to find the material goods toward which their instinct alone leads them. With man, the angel teaches the brute the art of satisfying himself. Man is capable of rising above the goods of the body and even of scorning life, an idea animals do not even conceive ...
If men ever succeed in being content with material goods, it is to be believed that they would little by little lose the art of producing them, and that they would end by enjoying them without discernment and without progress, like the animals."

--Tocqueville, "How the Excessive Love of Well-Being Can Harm Well-Being" in Democracy in America

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