Philosophy colloquium, Heidi Maibom (event cancelled)

What’s the use of perspective taking?

By Heidi Maibom (Cincinnati, Philosophy)

Date: Friday 9th April, 2020

Time: 1540-1700

Place: H-232

UPDATE: Due to the ongoing pandemic this event has been cancelled. We hope to re-schedule for next year.

Abstract: How can it help to take another’s perspective if we know that doing so involves a good dollop of ourselves, our own thoughts and attitudes? The answer is: it depends what you use perspective taking for. In the moral realm, there are two dominant uses. The first is that we use perspective taking on ourselves. We are typically primed to see our own actions as rational, good, etc., wherefore we need an outside view to appreciate what they really are. Here, imaginatively moving my center of agency outside myself does a lot of work. The second is our feeling what others are feeling; we take their emotional perspective, as it were. This is, I argue, what underlies our caring for what happens to others, even when it does not directly affect us. In this case, our propensity to feel for what happens to the other as if it were happening to ourselves is key.

About the speaker: tbd


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