Philosophy Seminar - 17 September 2020

Date Thursday 17 September 2020
Time 3:10pm - 4:30pm
Where University of Waikato - Room I.1.08 or via Zoom (
Presenter Dr Raamy Majeed (University of Auckland)
Contact Dr Justine Kingsbury
Contact email
Admission Cost Free

What Can Emotional Plasticity Tell Us About Social Biases?

Emotions that are quick, automatic and pre-reflective are typically explained by positing special evolved systems in the brain, i.e. ‘modules’. This framework, however, is ill-equipped to explain such emotions when they are responses to social or cultural cues, as evolved modules are thought to be incapable of undergoing any significant form of socio-cultural learning. In this paper, the presenter proposes a developmental framework to accommodate such emotions. In particular, the presenter argues that such emotions can be explained by developmental modules: modules that aren’t innate, but form as a product of development, and which are crucially shaped by our socio-cultural environment. The presenter will end by exploring the implications of this approach for tackling some implicit social biases.