Meeting Einstein: Jesse Prinz

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: How Emotions Shape Experience

Keynote and talk with Jesse Prinz, Einstein Visiting Fellow and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York

Emotion, consciousness, and values are three of the most intensively studied aspects of the human mind, and three of the most important. They are often investigated independently, but they can also be studied together. We frequently have conscious evaluative experiences. Some of these are moral in character: we react to statements made by political candidates, we observe behaviour that strikes us as wrong, and we reflect on the merits of open-borders.  Other evaluative experiences are aesthetic: we decide which song we like best, we see a person as beautiful, we meditate on the quality of an artwork. These evaluative experiences are sensory and cognitive, but they are also emotional. Emotions are what make the difference between seeing something neutrally and seeing it as having value, either good or bad.

Join Jesse Prinz on his stunning tour through these essential aspects in the philosophy of mind and learn how research is leading to a deeper understanding of emotions informing experience. In a conversation with Jule Specht, Prinz will explain how emotions contribute to moral judgments and form aesthetic perception. The talk will also investigate the implications on these effects. How do, for example, social factors influence emotions, giving rise to cultural differences in moral and aesthetic values?

Jesse Prinz

Jesse Prinz is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Since 2015 he has been Einstein Visiting Fellow at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain, where he set up a research group to investigate conscious experience, emotions, and values. Prinz is author of over 100 articles, and several books, including: “Furnishing the Mind”, “Gut Reactions”, “The Emotional Construction of Morals”, “The Conscious Brain”, and “Beyond Human Nature”.

Jule Specht

Jule Specht is Professor of Psychology at the Universität Lübeck. Her field of expertise is in personality development.

She previously held a junior professorship at the Freie Universität Berlin, where she has been awarded an Einstein Junior Fellowship. In 2014 she received the Berlin Science Award for junior academics.