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On Humanity, Chapter 17

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Chapter Summary

The practice of Mosaic humanity is so pervasive and all-encompassing that it extends even to human interactions with "almost invisible creatures". The principal aim of Moses' legislation regarding the treatment of animals is the edification of those who observe it. As Berthelot points out, the sort a minori ad maius argument employed here is Philo's "trump card" in his argument regarding Mosaic humanity, and he will have occasion to use it again, though it can be found outside of De humanitate as well. Most patristic authors accepted the Stoic view that animals lack reason and therefore have no community in justice with human beings. Philo emphasizes throughout that crimes break the laws of nature and frustrate the child's ability to partake of the gifts nature intends for it.

Keywords:domestic animals; Mosaic humanity; Philo



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