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Pets and PeopleThe Ethics of Companion Animals$
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Christine Overall

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190456085

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190456085.001.0001

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Building a Meaningful Social World between Human and Companion Animals through Empathy

Building a Meaningful Social World between Human and Companion Animals through Empathy

Chapter:
(p.35) 3 Building a Meaningful Social World between Human and Companion Animals through Empathy
Source:
Pets and People
Author(s):

Antonio Calcagno

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190456085.003.0003

Drawing on Edmund Husserl and Edith Stein, the chapter argues that a shared social world with companion animals would have to include the following elements: a shared sense of a built environment, a common language, which includes speech but also gesture and bodily expression, a shared value system, and a rich common affective life. Empathy is foundational for creating larger social worlds between humans and companion animals where particular bonds of meaning, shared space, value, and togetherness manifest themselves. The chapter makes the case for this argument first by laying out Husserl’s and Stein’s accounts of empathy, and then by using those accounts to show that the shared world of humans and companion animals is valuable and meaningful.

Keywords:   empathy, shared built environment, expression, meaning, companion animal, Edmund Husserl, Edith Stein

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