CFS Spring School: “Empathy, Direct Perception and Other Minds”

Date(s) - 29. March 2017 - 31. March 2017
All Day


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In recent years, many philosophers and psychologists have formulated and defended versions of a thesis known as the ‘direct social perception’ (DSP) thesis or the ‘basic empathy’ (BE) thesis. All versions of this view maintain that we can have a direct, perceptual or perception-like awareness of some mental states and episodes of others. Even though the view has attracted much attention, several questions remain open. For example, it is not clear to what extent the BE/DSP view presents a fundamental alternative to traditional ‘theory-of-mind’ approaches. Furthermore, it is unclear what the range of DSP/BE is: for exampe can we only directly perceive others’ basic emotions, say, or do we also have perceptual access to some of their cognitive states? Similarly, it is still debated to what extent the DSP/BE view is empirically and conceptually well-founded. The spring school aims to explore these and related questions.

Call for Abstracts
We invite applications from PhD students, and post-doctoral researchers. Applicants must submit (a) an extended abstract of their presentation (maximum 1,000 words); (b) 2 letters of recommendation. (See further details below.)

We welcome empirical as well as philosophical approaches. However, it is essential that abstracts and presentations are accessible to a non-expert audience.

Accepted applicants will have their transportation and accommodation costs covered.

Keynote Speakers
Cristina Becchio (Psychology, University of Turin)

Dan Zahavi (Philosophy, CFS Copenhagen)

Søren Overgaard (Philosophy, CFS Copenhagen)

How to Apply
1.     Send an email to Søren Overgaard:

2.     Include the abstract as an attachment (acceptable formats: .doc, .docx, .rtf, and .pdf)

3.     Include 2 letters of recommendation as attachments (preferably in .pdf)

4.     Ensure that the subject line of the email reads: Abstract CFS Spring School 2017

5.   The deadline for the application is Jan. 4, 2017. The notification of acceptance is Jan. 18, 2017.)

Further Information
We can accept a maximum of 15 participants to the Spring School. Since spaces are limited, only students who are presenting papers can attend the Spring School.

Your application will be evaluated according to (a) how your abstract relates to the overarching theme of the Spring School; (b) the quality of the abstract, including its accessibility to non-experts; and (c) the submitted letters of recommendation.

Felipe León (felipe.leó

Søren Overgaard (

Thomas Szanto (

Link to CFS website

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