Remak Seminar and Distinguished Scholar Award for 2012-13
(co-sponsored by the Society for Advanced Study)
“Moral Reasoning in Context:
How Literary, Theatrical, and Legal Narratives Affect Moral Perspective.”
Conveners: Fritz Breithaupt, Germanic Studies, and John Kruschke, Psychological and Brain Sciences.
Participants: Amy Cook, Theater and Drama
Jody Madeira, Law
Other faculty to be selected
This year-long seminar will study moral reasoning’s and perspective-taking in the context of narration. It will examine why and how people are siding with one person rather than another in situations of moral and legal conflict. The project will focus on narratives and how they influence people in their moral reasoning. While psychologists study generic situations abstracted for experimental control to understand moral reasoning, literary scholars study extended texts in their cultural context. Theater scholars look at the dynamic staging of narratives and legal scholars study textual and verbal narratives with real-world consequences. The proposed collaboration hopes to find some common processes of moral inference across these various scholarly domains. The seminar will connect psychology, cognitive science and humanities disciplines such as theater, philosophy, and legal studies. It will also contribute to the College’s 2012 Themester on “Good and Bad Behavior.”
Remak Distinguished Scholar 2012-2013
John Kruschke is Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Adjunct Professor of Statistics, and Core Faculty in Cognitive Science who received his Ph.D. from US at Berkley in 1990. His primary areas of research are Bayesian statistics, connectionist and Bayesian models of mind, attention in learning, and science of morality. He has won several Teaching Excellence Recognition Awards and IU and received a Troland Research Award from the National Academy of Sciences.
Fritz Breithaupt is Professor in the Department of Germanic Studies at Indiana University and is Adjunct Professor in Comparative Literature. He has received numerous teaching and research awards, including the Trustees Teaching Award of Indiana University, the Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, and a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2003/4). He is the author of five books and is currently working on an experimental book in which he created two characters that go through life, one of them with a decisively "narrative mind" and the other with a "non-narrative mind." He has also authored numerous articles on issues such as selfhood, trauma, theory of history, money, cognitive science, as well as on authors such as Lessing, Moritz, Goethe, Kleist, Beneke, Benjamin, Wittgenstein, and Celan. In addition to his academic work, he publishes frequently in the German press and has a column in ZEIT-Campus.