About this Volume
Empathy Across the Human-Nonhuman Divide is the first volume of the new Entanglements. TransForming Knowledge book series.
Early morning, a spider web covered in dew drops. Each drop reflects all the other drops that reflect this drop, and all the other drops that reflect all the other drops—and maybe the spider, her prey, or an onlooker, too—and so forth, ad infinitum. The image of such a spider web has been used to illustrate the Buddhist notion of Indra’s net, the vast net in the realm of the Vedic deva Indra, which stretches infinitely in all directions with a jewel at each knot of the net, reflecting all other jewels — a symbol for the interconnection and co-constitution of all things.
Similarly, in physics, “entanglement” describes the mutual influence of our universe’s particles even across vast distances. Thus, “entanglement” is also an appropriate metaphor for the co‑constitution of supposedly separate identities through relationality and dynamic interactions (or “intra-actions” rather) between and within systems in spacetime. In this understanding, self and other, human and nonhuman, nature and culture are interdependent agents rather than autonomous entities. By the same token, knowledge and meaning is co-produced by different academic fields and expertise outside academia as well as by animals, machines and other nonhuman participants in the world-creating dance.
Drawing on this insight, the book series Entanglements seeks to build and change, (i.e., to form and transform) knowledge by soliciting work that entangles disciplines, methods and practices. Moreover, Entanglements not only aims for transforming outcomes, but also for transforming processes and, not least of all, transforming the experience of all participants in the series through co-review of all contributions. In this manner, each volume brings together diverse participants to join the conversation on a particular conceptual topic. With this aim in mind, Entanglements aspires to TransForm Knowledge of the topic in question in the interest of a radical inter- and transdisciplinarity for a sustainable planet.
Accordingly, the first volume of the series invited contributions dedicated to different conceptions and actualisations (or the absence) of empathy among entangled and entangling actors. For an enriching glance into different understandings of the concept, please see documentary short film The Diversity of Empathy.
As all content at MDPI Books, this volume will be published Open Access (under Creative Commons Attribution Licensing) and complemented with a high-quality print-on-demand hard copy.