Symposium to explore psychology, emotion and the human sciences

What can contemporary scientific psychology, barely 150 years old, teach us about the emotions that literary and philosophical inquiry cannot? A symposium on the UWindsor campus April 20 and 21 will bring scholars from around the world to explore that question.

Psychology, Emotion, and the Human Sciences is sponsored by the Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation, and Rhetoric and English professor Stephen Pender, research leadership chair in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Dr. Pender says the symposium was inspired in part by social theorist Jon Elster’s argument that with some emotions – including regret, relief, envy and pity – there is more to be learned “from moralists, novelists, and playwrights than from the cumulative findings of scientific psychology.”

The two-day program in Alumni Hall’s McPherson Lounge will feature dozens of presenters, including these from the University of Windsor:

  • Laura Benacquista on “The Importance of Cultivating an Intellectual Sympathy through Visual Images;”
  • Stephen Pender on “Distance, Feeling;”
  • Michael K. Potter on “Verstehen and Einbildung: What Psychopaths Can Teach Us about Affective Education;”
  • Catherine Hundleby on “Bias and Fallacies of Argumentation: The Case of Androcentrism;” and
  • Justin Ross Morris on “Emotional Argumentation and Feminist Dialogics: A Recipe for Empathetic Engagement.”

“I am very excited to be hosting philosophers and scholars from around the world -- Israel, the UK, France -- and across the country for a symposium devoted to exploring the relationships between psychology and pedagogy, philosophy and emotion,” Pender says. “The program is rich, the papers engaging, and I hope it will be a symposium in the true sense of the word.”

Find more information, including a full program, the list of abstracts, and registration details, on the symposium Web site.