The Harvard Review of Philosophy

Volume 29, 2022

Philosophy and the Environment

Elisa Aaltola
Pages 33-44

Platonic Love of Nonhuman Nature and Animals

Some philosophers have argued that love has moral-psychological power, as it can motivate one to appreciate the existence of others and to offer care for them. This appears evident in the context of our relations with nonhuman animals and nature: love can motivate one to think of them as morally considerable. But what is love? The paper at hand investigates one classic philosophical definition of love and applies it to our relationship with other animals and nature. This definition is the quality view of love, i.e., Platonic love, which, I argue, facilitates deeper moral concern for nonhuman animals and things.