Empathy and Animals

Lori Gruen

In this talk I will revisit discussions of empathy in animals and raise two questions, the first epistemic and the second ethical.  What are the conditions under which we may come to know that animals are empathetic (how do laboratory studies aid or distort such knowledge, can empathy be “observed”, does “empathy” serve as a proxy for other emotional and behavioral states.). If animals are empathetic, do we injure them or impede their dignity if we deny them the opportunity to express their empathy towards others?

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