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Interspecies Etiquette: An Ethics of Paying Attention to Animals


This paper explores a philosophical praxis of paying attention, and the importance of bodily comportment, in human-animal interactions. It traces some of the beginnings of the notion of attentiveness as it has arisen in contemporary Western environmental and animal ethics, and its further development into both a philosophical approach and actual practice as a kind of interspecies etiquette. It is informed by the kinds of comportments of openness and responsivity found in diverse examples of practical phenomenology. Through a wide-ranging interdisciplinary discussion, I suggest that a praxis of attentiveness can inspire practical applications of ethical interactions between species.