Dorothy Emmet Lectures

The Dorothy Emmet Lectures commemorate Dorothy Emmet, an eminent mid-20th Century philosopher and head of the Philosophy Department at Manchester for over 20 years. The lectures are aimed at the general public and require no prior knowledge of philosophy.

This year the lecture will be online. It will last around 45 minutes, followed by half an hour of Q&A. You will be able to post your questions to the chair, who will read it out. You can register here.

When: Monday 11 May, 17.00-18.15 (45 mins talk, 30 mins Q&A)

Speaker: Jane Heal (Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge)

Jane is a Fellow of the British Academy, and has published extensively on the philosophy of mind and language. Alongside work on Wittgenstein and first-person authority (amongst other things), she is perhaps best known for her work on 'simulation theory' -- the view that we get to understand other people's minds not by deploying a theory about how minds work but by 'simulating' their thoughts and feelings -- by imaginatively putting ourselves in their shoes and considering what we would think and feel in their position.

Title: On Underestimating “Us”

Abstract: Human beings are social animals. A solitary life would be horrible for most of us. What makes life worthwhile is being with others and engaging in shared projects with them. To do justice to these facts, philosophers (and economists and other social scientists) need to pay more attention to the first person plural, we/us, and to rethink their accounts of decision making and of value and virtue.