Seminar: Dr Eileen John, 2 March 2016

Dr Eileen John (University of Warwick)
‘Divided by feeling’


We can be divided in feeling within ourselves—we often have ‘mixed feelings’—and divided from others who feel differently than we do about some issue or situation. The intrapersonal case is interesting because it does not seem that differences of belief could explain the mixed feelings. Perhaps disagreement in belief is also not always the best explanation for differences in feeling between people. I want in part to think about why and how we are able to take mixed feelings on board within our own lives, while divergence in feeling from others can create great ‘distance’ and, sometimes, a sense that we do not make sense to each other. Difference in feeling can make someone feel ‘farther away’, it seems, than sheer disagreement in belief. Is the intrapersonal case helpful in conceiving of how we are divided from others by feeling? Are we responsible for trying to lessen felt distance from others? I will approach these questions in part by considering how they are handled in J. M. Coetzee’s The Lives of Animals.

The seminar will be held at the Open University’s campus at Walton Hall, in Wilson A, Meeting Room 05, from 2pm – 4pm.

All welcome. Contact Carolyn Price ( for more information on these events and on the Reasons and Norms research group.