Empathy and Perspective: A Smithian Conception of Humanity
Samuel Fleischacker (University of Illinois, Chicago)

August 4, 2015, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne

Theatre A, Elisabeth Murdoch Building
University of Melbourne VIC 3010
Australia

Sponsor(s):

  • ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions
  • School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne

Organisers:

Ruth Boeker
University of Melbourne

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This talk explores Adam Smith's conception of empathy (roughly, what he called "sympathy"), and its connection, for him, with our understanding of our selves. I begin with a comparison between Smith and David Hume on sympathy, move to the role of perspective-taking in Smith's discussion of the subject, then look at the degree to which empathy, and perspective-taking, figure in our construction of our identity, for Smith. I conclude by suggesting that Smith introduces a new conception of humanity by way of his view of empathy.

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August 4, 2015, 6:30pm +10:00

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