Sapientia Lecture Series

Dartmouth Events

Sapientia Lecture Series

Richard Moran (Harvard). "Speech as Expression and as ‘Social Act of Mind’". Free & open to all. Reception follows.

Friday, May 11, 2018
103 Thornton Hall
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

Abstract: This talk takes off from Thomas Reid's characterization of "social acts mind", and describes three ‘commonplaces’ about the norms of ordinary testimony:  1) the speaker is assumed to be speaking sincerely, 2) the speaker is aware of and understands what she is saying, and 3) the speaker counts as having asserted or told her audience that P whether or not she is sincere (‘Manifest’).  Showing how these commonplaces reinforce each other leads to a different conception of the meaning of sincerity, and a distinction between two forms of knowing what one is doing.  

Richard Moran is the Brian D. Young Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University. His interests include philosophy of mind and moral psychology, the nature of testimony, aesthetics and the philosophy of literature, and the later Wittgenstein.

He has recently taught courses on the above topics, and on speech-acts, philosophy of action, self-consciousness and intersubjectivity, and Marcel Proust.

He has published papers on metaphor, on imagination and emotional engagement with art, on action and practical knowledge, and speech and testimony. His book, Authority and Estrangement: An Essay on Self-Knowledge, was published by Princeton University Press in 2001. A collection of his papers, The Philosophical Imagination, was published by Oxford University Press in 2017. His book The Exchange of Words: Speech, Testimony, and Intersubjectivity will appear from OUP later this month.

The Sapientia Lecture Series is funded by the Mark J. Byrne 1985 Fund in Philosophy.

For more information, contact:
Marcia Welsh
(603) 646-3738

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.