Colloquium PERSPECTIVES ON IDENTITY: Our Aesthetic, Moral, and Social Self
Colloquium of the “Consciousness, Emotions, Values” group of the Einstein Visiting Fellow Jesse Prinz
“Perspectives on the Self”
16.00 Joerg Fingerhut (Berlin): The Aesthetic Self
To what extent do our aesthetic preferences and our engagement with the arts constitute who we are? I will discuss a series of studies of the Einstein group on an Aesthetic Self-Effect in which we found evidence for a genuine aesthetic self: when our taste in music and the arts or our aesthetic interests change, we take these changes to severely affect our identity.
16.30 Katharina Helming (Leipzig): The Social Self
I am going to present novel evidence showing that young children, but not great apes seek additional information when confronted with peer disagreement over matters of a fact. This indicates that children use conflicting social evidence in the form of opinions to infer that their own current beliefs may be wrong. In contrast, our studies with adults show that in the moral domain they actively avoid confrontation with people who hold different values, while often maintaining their moral outlook is the correct one.
17.00 Jesse Prinz (New York): Is Personal Identity Social Identity?
Philosophers tend to take an individualistic approach to personal identity, emphasizing features such as memory and agency that belong to each of us as individuals. In psychology, much work on identity focuses on social group membership. These look like different topics, but a growing body of evidence suggests that our conceptions of personal identity include traits such as moral values, political orientation, religion, and musical taste, which we share with other people. This social identity may be linked to personal identity. But a simple identification would be problematic. For example, people also identify with traits such as mental illness categories, that are not usually conceived as social identities. Here an approach to personal identity that is social in nature, but different from group membership, is explored.
There will be short question sessions after each talk and time for a general discussion after the three talks.
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Berlin School of Mind and Brain
Room 144 (ground floor)
All are welcome!