“Mindreading, Emotion-Regulation, and Oppression”
Hosted by the Department of Philosophy
Abstract: Until recently, most theorists have argued that people attribute propositional attitudes (henceforth APA) in order to secure epistemic benefits like prediction and explanation. These abilities are realized in our psychology via either theoretical or simulative mechanisms. Nevertheless, some theorists have shifted the focus away from epistemic towards practical functions of APA According to the mindshaping account, we do not attribute propositional attitudes for the sake of prediction and explanation, but in order to shape mental states in accordance with social norms. In this work I incorporate mechanistic details behind theorizing and simulation to show that theorizing and simulation evolved for navigating interpersonal social hierarchies. While theorizing allowed dominant individuals to manipulate norm violators without succumbing to interpersonal emotions, simulation allowed the oppressed to form intimate alliances amongst themselves.
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