Understanding Others in an Alienating World: Comments on Lori Gruen's Entangled Empathy

Hypatia 32 (2):428-438 (2017)

Authors
Remy Debes
University of Memphis
Abstract
Is moral theory alienating? This question, and the worries that lie behind it, motivate much of Lori Gruen's distinctive approach to animal ethics in Entangled Empathy. According to Gruen, the “traditional” methods of moral theory rely on abstractions that strip away the details that give our lives meaning. Although I am deeply sympathetic to these worries, as well as to the alternative ethics Gruen proposes in response to them, in this article I express a few reservations about the argument Gruen uses to motivate her worries and to establish her solution. First, I raise some questions about her conception of “traditional” moral theory and the possible historical figures she means to indict. I then suggest that the principal gear of her argument—her conception of “entangled empathy”—suffers from some inconsistency in application, which risks leading her to posit a thicker notion of empathy than she should want. In particular, her argument risks setting a standard of correctness for “successful” empathy that is implausible on its own terms, but that is also a standard of correctness with morally and politically questionable implications in the human context.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/hypa.12329
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 45,599
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Empathy and Imagination.Nancy Sherman - 1998 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 22 (1):82-119.
Epistemic Injustice — Power and the Ethics of Knowing.Miranda Flicker - 2008 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (1):117-119.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Expressing Entangled Empathy: A Reply.Lori Gruen - 2017 - Hypatia 32 (2):452-462.
The Selves of Social Animals: Comments on Gruen.David Shoemaker - 2014 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 52 (S1):66-74.
Ethics and Animals: An Introduction.Lori Gruen - 2011 - Cambridge University Press.
Empathy and Its Role in Morality.Meghan Masto - 2015 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 53 (1):74-96.
Reply to Justin D'Arms and Lori Watson.Michael Slote - 2011 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (s1):148-155.
Rejecting Empathy for Animal Ethics.T. J. Kasperbauer - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (4):817-833.
In Defense of the Moral Significance of Empathy.Aaron Simmons - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (1):97-111.
How to Be a Proponent of Empathy.Yujia Song - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (3):437-451.
Attending to Nature: Empathetic Engagement with the More Than Human World. Gruen - 2009 - Ethics and the Environment 14 (2):pp. 23-38.
The Nature of Empathy.Jakob Eklund - 2013 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 20 (1):28-38.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-03-30

Total views
14 ( #611,194 of 2,280,598 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #408,372 of 2,280,598 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature