Empathy and Perspective: A Smithian Conception of HumanitySamuel Fleischacker (University of Illinois, Chicago)
Theatre A, Elisabeth Murdoch Building
University of Melbourne VIC 3010
- ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions
- School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne
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.
August 4, 2015, 6:30pm +10:00