Trust and Empathy by Dr. Shannon Spaulding

Thursday, February 15, 2024
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Onine | Zoom

a person smiling at the camera

The Philosophy Colloquium Series continues with an online event: "Trust and Empathy" by Dr. Shannon Spaulding (Oklahoma State University).

This event is free and open to the public. All are welcome! 
Meeting ID: 979 5916 1444
Passcode: 4486
Abstract: Can you trust someone you cannot empathize with? Can you empathize with someone you distrust? Trust and empathy are closely connected phenomena. Although the literature on trust and empathy rarely overlap, the connection between them is philosophically interesting and important for understanding some worrying societal trends. People from different backgrounds increasingly dislike and distrust each other and are less willing to try to see the world from someone else’s perspective. This creates a vicious circle that makes it difficult to work through conflicts, collaborate in democratic processes, and cooperate across ideological lines. In this talk, I consider ways for individuals to break out of this morass. Specifically, I consider two paths: cultivating trust in the absence of empathy and cultivating empathy in the absence of trust.
About the speaker: Dr. Shannon Spaulding is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Oklahoma State University with interests in cognitive science, philosophy of psychology, and philosophy of science. She holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is the author of How We Understand Others: Philosophy and Social Cognition (Routledge, 2018). For more on Dr. Spaulding's work, visit
Individuals with a disability who need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this event, please contact Accessibility Resources at 507-389-2825, (V), 800-627-3529, or 711 (MRS/TTY). Appropriate advanced notification is required for the event. 
Organized by: Philosophy at Minnesota State University, Mankato and College of Humanities & Social Sciences - Minnesota State Mankato


Julie Wulfemeyer, Ph.D.