"Understanding Others". A Philosophical Symposium; 6.5., Tampere

A Philosophical Symposium
Tue, May 6th 2014
Pinni B4141, University of Tampere

11.00-11.40 Elisa Aaltola: On Understanding Animal Suffering

11.40-12.20 Constantine Sandis: If a Lion Could Talk: Wittgenstein on Understanding Others

In this paper I defend Wittgenstein's cryptic remark against a number of objections. In so doing, I offer a fresh interpretation of the remark, accompanied by an account of what Wittgenstein can teach us about what it is to understand someone.

12.40-13.20 Tero Vaaja: Wittgenstein, Understanding, and Other Minds.

13.20-14.00 Susanna Lindberg: Derrida on Understanding Animals

L U N C H   B R E A K

15.00-15.40 Renne Pesonen: Why is stupidity irritating?

It is a somewhat curious phenomena that people tend to get agitated by perceived violations of rationality by others, even on trivial issues. I discuss this phenomena by exploiting four independent but mutually supportive claims that concern the nature of norms and human cognition. I will not piece them together as an account according to which practical reasoning and moral competence are rooted in the same subconscious cognitive capacity. The capacity enables social coordination without discursive practices by implementing a mechanism that enables us to track communal practices and penalize deviations. And this, I contend, forms the basis of social norms. We get agitated because we are tacitly concerned about the integrity of the social constitution itself.

15.40–16.20 Arto Laitinen: Understanding Evil?

Of many issues it is sometimes said that one can understand them without accepting them, or without thinking they have justification. But of things classifiable as ”evil” it is also sometimes said that they remain puzzling, unintelligible, evade attempts to understand. Do they? G. E. M. Anscombe identified a special meaning of ’understanding why,’ understanding someone’s actions in light of the desirability characterizations that shed light on it. I will examine whether we can understand evil (action) in this sense. This leads to a discussion of whether the ’guise of the good’ thesis applies to evil action, and of some putative counter-examples to that thesis.

16.20–17.00 Ali Qadir: The Islamic Other: Understanding Ahmadiyya Hereticization

Broadly, I would like to briefly describe the empirical case of the Ahmadiyya sect, their hereticization by almost all Muslims across the world, and what that implies when we think of understanding others in an Islamic context.

Open to all.

Further info: arto.laitinen at jyu.fi