The Department of Philosophy and UMD’s Graduate Student Government welcomes members of the UMD community to attend The Social Minds Graduate conference. Keynote speakers will be Bryce Huebner (Georgetown University) and Tad Zawidzki (George Washington University). Eight graduate students from various schools will present their work on areas related to social cognition.

Conference Abstract

Humans are social animals, par excellence. We display a remarkable degree of cooperation and concern for others. We communicate ideas and emotions through bodily expressions, language and art. We have families, friends, clubs, schools, and all other manner of formal and informal social institutions. 

Research on social cognition is, in part, an attempt to understand how this is possible. How do we interpret each other's motivations and construct a shared knowledge of our environment? How do we navigate complex social interactions? What sorts of psychological capacities and value structures are required to sustain investment heavy nurturing and cooperation? A closely related field of research attempts to understand the moral and political dimensions of social cognition. Are some policies more effective at minimizing racism (implicit or otherwise) than others? Are some moral ideals simply incompatible with our social natures?

Conference Schedule

Sat. April 18th: 9am-5:40pm
Sun. April 19th: 9am- 1:00pm

Hornbake Library, 0103, University of Maryland, College Park

Saturday, April 18th

9:00 - 9:30    Breakfast

9:30 - 10:15   Jessie Munton (Yale), “Evidentialism, Epistemic Evaluation and Social Structures”
10:25 - 11:10   Bryan Chambliss (Arizona), “Deceptively Simple: Why Joint Mental Representations Don't Solve the Puzzle of Social Interaction”
11:20 - 12:05   Dana Matthiessen (Georgetown), “Predictive Brains and Mental State Representations”

12:05 - 1:15     Lunch (on your own)

1:15 - 2:00   Christiane Merritt (Washington University in St. Louis), “Deafness and Theory of Mind: A Dilemma for Modular Accounts”
2:10 - 2:55   Joseph Hedger (Syracuse), “Perceptual Access Reasoning: Developmental State or System 1 Heuristic”

2:55 - 3:15     Coffee break

3:15 - 4:00   Brandon Terrizzi (Maryland), “Gaze”-cueing of attention by a novel, faceless agent in children and adults
4:10 - 5:40   Keynote: Tad Zawidzki (George Washington University), “Are Infant Interpreters Dennettians?”

Reception at Philosophy Lounge (Skinner 1119)
Followed by Dinner at 4105 Queensbury Road
Transportation to the party will be arranged at the reception

Sunday, April 19th

9:00-9:30     Breakfast

9:30-10:15   Joseph Jebari (Georgetown), “Is Harm Enough? An Evolutionary Approach to Harm-Based Moral Psychology”
10:25-11:10   Michael Rizzo (Maryland), “The Context-dependence of children’s conception of fairness during resource allocation: Knowledge and behavior”

11:10 – 11:30     Coffee break

11:30 -1:00pm   Keynote: Bryce Huebner (Georgetown), “Racist Robots Playing Racist Language Games”


Conference program, abstracts and map