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In terms, animate (TR:311) (LH:6) (TL:317), from the Greek anima, from anemos (άνεμος), meaning “wind”[1], as compared to inanimate, refers to things that move, bend, turn, crawl, or walk via a motor principle, singularly or sustained.


The following is a chronology of the dominant introduction of various animate-based terms used in a human encompassing or universal manner, in respect to general theories of movement:

# Name Date Author Publication
1. Animate thing[2] c.530 John Philoponus[3]
Animate thing[4] c.1340 Jean Buridan
2. Animate creature 1852 William Thomson “On a Universal Tendency in Nature to the Dissipation of Mechanical Energy”
3. Animate being 1863 Henry Adams
Animate being 1927 Albert Dawson Mind and Life: From Atom to Man[5]
4. Animate heat engine[6] 1868 Gustave Hirn Philosophical Implications of Thermodynamics
5. Animated motor[6] 1868 Gustave Hirn Philosophical Implications of Thermodynamics
6. Animate individual c.1895 Clarence Herrick “The Concept of Individuality”
7. Animate organism[7] 1912 Edmund Husserl[8] Note: employs the term "somatology" as the "science of animate organisms".[9]
8. Animate matter 1954 Alfred Ubbelohde Time and Thermodynamics (§9: Life and Thermodynamics)
Animate thermodynamics[6] 1997 Sture Nordholm “In Defense of Thermodynamics: an Animate Analogy”
9. Animate species 2006 Daniel Dennett
Animate species 2012 Jeffrey Tuhtan
10. Animate movers 2006 Daniel Dennett


The following are quotes:

Animate matter is termed ‘life’ for short.”
— Alfred Ubbelohde (1954), Man and Energy (pg. #)
“To ‘animate’, and the related words: animation, animated, and animator, etc., all derive from the Latin verb animare, which means ‘to give life to’, and within the context of animating film, this largely means the artificial creation of the illusion of movement in inanimate lines and form.”
— Paul Wells (1998), Understanding Animation (§: What is Animation, pg. 10) [10]

End matter


  1. Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 2000.
  2. Philoponus, John. (c.530). On Aristotle On the Soul 2.1-6 (pgs. 90-91). Bloomsbury.
  3. John Philoponus – Hmolpedia 2020.
  4. Buridan, Jean. (c.1340). Short Summary of Dialectics (Summulae de Dialectica) (pg. #). Yale, 2008.
  5. Dawson, Albert. (1927). Mind and Life, from Atom to Man: Demonstrating that Mind is Coeval With, and Inseparable From, Matter and Energy. With Special Reference to Matter in Heredity, Mental Therapeutics, the Immediate Nature of Psychic Phenomena in Spiritualism, and to a Possible Physical Limit to Human Intelligence. Cambridge.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Animate thermodynamics – Hmolpedia 2020.
  7. Animate organism – Hmolpedia 2020.
  8. Edmund Husserl – Hmolpedia 2020.
  9. Husserl, Edmund. (1912). Phenomenology and the Foundation of Sciences (§1.2: Animate Organism, Apprehension of Animate Organism, and Somatology, pgs. 4-). Springer, 2001.
  10. Wells, Paul. (1998). Understanding Animation (§: What is Animation, pg. 10). Psychology Press.

External links

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