Great Chain of Being

Hierarchy of life, according to medieval Christian philosophy.

  1. God
  2. Angelic beings. Pure spirit, without physical bodies. Able to reason, love and imagine.
  3. Humans. Share attributes of superior beings (reason, love, imagination) and inferior beings (physical form).
  4. Animals. Have sense, can move.
  5. Plants. Can grow and reproduce. Lack senses and movement.
  6. Minerals. Are solid and strong. Cannot move, cannot grow, cannot reproduce.

Within each category there are sub rankings, eg. lions are the highest of the animals, flowering plans are higher than mushrooms, and so on.