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Attending to Nature: Empathetic Engagement with the More than Human World

Lori Gruen
Ethics and the Environment
Vol. 14, No. 2, Special Issue on Ecofeminism in Honor of Val Plumwood / Guest co-editor, Chris Cuomo, University of Georgia (Fall 2009), pp. 23-38
Published by: Indiana University Press
DOI: 10.2979/ete.2009.14.2.23
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/ete.2009.14.2.23
Page Count: 16
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Attending to Nature: Empathetic Engagement with the More than Human World
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Abstract

Val Plumwood urged us to attend to earth others in non-dualistic ways. In this essay I suggest that such attention be promoted through what I call “engaged empathy.” Engaged empathy involves critical attention to the conditions that undermine the well being or flourishing of those to whom empathy is directed and this requires moral agents to attend to things they might not have otherwise. Engaged empathy requires gaining wisdom and perspective and, importantly, motivates the empathizer to act ethically.

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