Ernst Schumacher

Ernst Schumacher classified minerals, plants, animals, and humans on the basis of their ‘level of being’. If mineral is ‘m’, then plant is ‘m+x’, animal is ‘m+x+y’, and human is ‘m+x+y+z’. Here ‘x’ is ‘ontological discontinuity’ which transforms a non-living entity to a living one. ‘Consciousness’ is represented by ‘y’; animals are conscious because “they can be knocked unconscious”. “Man has power of life like the plant, power of consciousness like the animal, and evidently something more”. ‘z’ is that ‘something more’. Schumacher called it ‘self awareness’ meaning “man not only is able to think but is able to be aware of his thinking”.