Philosophy colloquium, Heidi Maibom

What’s the use of perspective taking?

By Heidi Maibom (Cincinnati, Philosophy)

Date: Friday 10th April, 2020

Time: 1100-1230

Place: tba

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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