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4月18日学术信息:Morality and Manipulation
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“Morality and Manipulation”

Professor Hagop Sarkissian

City University of New York, Baruch College

WHU Philosophy Spring Seminar Series

Wednesday 18 April 2018


Abstract

Suppose I have learned how to make reliable, probabilistic predictions about the effects of my own behavior on you. For example, I am able to predict how my tone of voice, or my choice of music or dress, or my use of a certain anecdote might influence you this way or that. Suppose I then modify my own behavior so as to influence you, promoting what I take to be laudable or prosocial behavior, nudging you toward the good. Is this manipulative? Is it wrong? In this presentation, I describe some existing proposals in the literature and consider the manipulation worry. Drawing on classical Confucian thought, I argue that influence (whether intended or not) is an inescapable part of social existence. Once we accept this, the only question is how to influence others, and toward what ends.


About the Speaker

Hagop Sarkissian is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York, Baruch College, and the CUNY Graduate Center. His research is located at the intersection of cognitive science, ethics, and classical Chinese philosophy: he draws insights from the cognitive and behavioral sciences to explore topics in moral psychology, agency, and the status of morality, with an eye toward seeing how culture shapes cognition in these domains. He also uses the tools of experimental psychology in some of his research. He has authored or coauthored papers in these areas for several journals, including Philosophical Studies, Philosopher’s Imprint, Annual Review of Psychology, Mind & Language, British Journal for the History of Philosophy, History of Philosophy Quarterly, Journal of Chinese Philosophy, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, and Review of Philosophy and Psychology, as well as numerous anthologies. He is co-editor, with Jennifer Cole Wright, of Advances in Experimental Moral Psychology (Bloomsbury, 2014) and, with Philip J. Ivanhoe, Owen J. Flanagan, Victoria S. Harrison, and Eric Schwitzgebel, of The Oneness Hypothesis: Beyond the Boundary of Self (Columbia, forthcoming). Sarkissian holds a B.A. (Philosophy and East Asian Studies) and M.A. (East Asian Studies) from the University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. (Philosophy) from Duke University. His work has been translated into Chinese and Korean.


Suggested Background Reading

Sarkissian, Hagop (2017) "Situationism, Manipulation, and Objective Self-Awareness", inEthical Theory and Moral Practice, 20, pp. 489-503.


When and Where

Pre-Seminar Briefing

·When: 14:30-15:30

·Where: B214 School of Philosophy

Tea/Coffee

·When: 15:30-16:00

·Where: Starbucks (all welcome, at own expense)

Seminar Presentation:

·When: 16:00-17:15

·Where: B214 School of Philosophy

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