The author aimed at a creating a typology of common ways of conceptualising the notion of the 'animal' in the Polish language and culture. He also indicated dependencies between the world outlook shaped under the impact of culture and the way of perceiving animals, and thus their treatment. Upon the basis of research material collected amidst 140 students it has been possible to indicate 13 ways of defining animals in everyday thought. Despite the extraction of ways of defining animals based on empathy, the dominating stand appears to be a supremacy definition, stressing man's superiority vis a vis animals-things. It recalls a reification interpretation enrooted in language and culture, which reduces animals to the role of useful products-raw material 'serving man'.
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