Entangled Empathy

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When: Wednesday November 16th, 2011 (2:00-4:00pm)
Speaker: Lori Gruen (Environmental Studies, Wesleyan)

Ethical arguments for considering the claims of the more-than-human world have tended to parallel arguments that extend ethical consideration outward from those who occupy the moral center.  Expanding the circle is one way scholars and activists have tried to combat what is alternatively termed “speciesism,” “humanormativity,” or “human exceptionalism” – terms that have been used to identify a perceived ethical problem with human attitudes toward and treatment of other animals. Though there are advantages to this argumentative strategy,  this talk suggests an alternative in which we come to see ourselves, not just as individual animal beings, but also as inextricably entangled with other animals.

Lori Gruen is a Professor of Philosophy, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Environmental Studies at Wesleyan University.  Prof. Gruen also co-coordinates Wesleyan Animal Studies and Directs the Ethics in Society Project. Prof. Gruen’s work lies at the intersection of ethical theory and ethical practice, with a particular focus on ethical issues that impact those often overlooked in traditional ethical investigations, e.g. women, people of color, non-human animals. Prof. Gruen is the author of the recently published Ethics and Animals:  An Introduction.

Lori Gruen: Official Website
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a companion to the book