The Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome has a philosophy department that currently maintains an irreducible difference
between man and the other animals.1 The current course at the Gregorian University explores the difference between
man and animals extensively (chapter six of the student notes). The external and internal sense faculties are treated. The
relationship of animal instinct to human intelligence is examined. Language is noted as an important factor in the discontinuity
between man and the other animals. La Vecchica who currently teaches the course on evolution is an expert in philosophical
linguistics.2 Finally, an examination and critique of animal experiments comes to the conclusion that there is
an essential difference between man and the other animals.
The Scholastic philosophers of the twentieth century, and Scholastic philosophers generally, have always maintained that
although man shares sensation and sense knowledge with the animals, man is essentially different.3 Observation
and natural history lead to the conviction that animals in general have a sensitive psychic life, and sometimes that life
is most perfect in its own order. It must be conceded that in certain ways that sensitive life of animals is even more perfect
than the sensitive life of mankind.
Regarding the term "intelligent," some authors, who consider the sensitive life of animals, describe the perfection of
animal activity as more or less "intelligent."4 This way of speaking is entirely inappropriate, arises from false
doctrine, errors and confusion, and is without philosophic proof; such use of "intelligent" ought to be avoided in writings
on experimental science.
The truth contained in the thesis is very important and extremely useful.5 Scientifically, it leads to a better
understanding of the nature of man and his dignity. The position of the adversaries would deprive man of that dignity. Further,
under a moral and practical aspect, human dignity emphasizes the need of charity to the poor. Animal protection societies
fill another type of need.