Conference on Self-Evaluation - Individual and Collective

University of Basel, January 16-18, 2009


Philosophers have explored at great length the metaphysics of the self and the nature of self-reference. Although some of the self-directed (reflexive) emotions - like shame, pride and guilt – have been investigated carefully, many self-directed attitudes remain unexplored and thus the interrelations between these attitudes and reactions and their importance for the self are little understood.

Our colloquium focuses on two aspects of self-evaluation: the range of attitudes that are typically self-evaluative, and the distinction between singular/individual and plural/collective self/subject/personhood. Investigating a large sample of self-directed emotions and related phenomena may contribute not only to a better understanding of how they interrelate, but also to a refined theory of the relations holding between individual and collective intentionality.

Self-directed attitudes - self-love, self-hate, self-loathing, self-respect, self-esteem, self-approval, cura sui, self-concern, self-interest, self-trust, belief in oneself, narcissism, self-admiration, amour propre, etc. - are often closely tied to the position one occupies within a network of social relations. Indeed some attitudes may have as their object the social person or self (as opposed to the intimate self or person) and value properties such as fame, reputation, gloire. One strand of our investigation aims at discovering some of the dependence relations between individual self-evaluation and social positioning, and how these relations inform our understanding of self-directed emotions such as shame, pride and guilt. Another concerns the possibility of collective self-evaluation by means of collective attitudes, possible analyses of such states, as well as their importance in explaining collective phenomena like nationalism, religious intolerance, or solidarity. Taking into account theories of the self and of reference to the self, as well as theories of values, norms, and choice, we hope that our focus on (affective) attitudes of self-evaluation may contribute to further progress in the theories of self-knowledge and self-understanding.




Friday, Jan. 16: Self-Evaluation: Relevant Attitudes



Welcome Address

Hans Bernhard Schmid, University of Basel

Kevin Mulligan, University of Geneva


How to Have Self-Directed Attitudes

Lynne R. Baker, University of Massachusetts


Self-Evaluation, Self-Knowledge, and Collective Narratives

Ulla Schmid, University of Basel

16:00-16:30Coffee Break

Reactive Attitudes Revisited

John Deigh, University of Texas


Who do you think you are? Self, Character, and Person(-ality)

Alain Pé-Curto/Federico Lauria, Universities of Fribourg and Geneva




Saturday, Jan 17: Self-Evaluation and Rationality


Self-Trust and Social Truth

Keith Lehrer, University of Arizona


Practical Deliberation and the First-Person Point of View

Juliette Gloor, University of Basel

11:15-11:30Coffee Break

The Evaluative Dimension of Self-Awareness

Axel Seemann, Bentley College


Identity and Self-Evaluation

Carol Rovane, Columbia University


Feeling up to it - Affective Background Conditions of Individual and Collective Intention

Hans Bernhard Schmid, University of Basel

16:00-16:15 Coffee Break

Intention and Self-Evaluation

Lilian O'Brien, University College Cork




Sunday, Jan 18: Self-Evaluation and Morality


Moral Sentimentalism and Self-Directed Emotions

Jesse Prinz, University of North Carolina


Shame and Other Negative Self-Evaluative Emotions

Julien Deonna/Fabrice Teroni, University of Geneva

11:15-12:00Extended Coffee Break

Self-Knowledge, Knowledge of Others, and ‘the thing called love'

Edward Harcourt, Keble College, Oxford

13:00-14:00Roundtable: Synthesis and Outlook
14:00 -openLunch


Attendance is free, but the number of seats is limited. Please register in advance with a mail to Juliette Gloor