Thu, Sep 02


28th Conference of the ESPP

SYMPOSIUM: Experimental findings from philosophy of mind

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SYMPOSIUM: Experimental findings from philosophy of mind

Time & Location

Sep 02, 2021, 11:15 AM – Sep 03, 2021, 1:15 PM

28th Conference of the ESPP

About the Event

In recent decades, a growing body of research in experimental philosophy and psychology has been devoted to uncovering the psychological processes behind people’s attributions of theory of mind concepts. With the help of empirical methods, some scholars have investigated, for instance, the role of our blaming practices in the attribution of concepts such as knowledge, intention, recklessness, and negligence. These concepts are relevant not only for our moral judgments, but also for legal judgments. In fact, in most legal systems, an individual is responsible for a crime if she is found to (i) have causally brought about a harmful outcome (actus reus) and (ii) acted intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently — i.e., with a ‘guilty mind’ (mens rea). Arguably, there are few other contexts where the attribution of theory of mind concepts is of similar consequence as in moral psychology and criminal jurisprudence.

The proposed symposium sits at the interface of moral psychology, philosophy, and the law. Its goal is three-fold: We aim to (i) explore the influences on people’s ascription of theory of mind concepts and the underlying psychological processes; (ii) investigate whether, and to what extent, this is challenging for common philosophical assumptions and the law; and (iii) explore which strategies could be pursued, if so, to face such challenges.