John Darley and Lawrence Solan

Creating Harm without Doing Wrong

Mon, 10/11/2010
4:30-6:00 PM, Library Lounge, Bendheim Center for Finance
Event Category: 

* Please note new location *

Please join us for a LAPA Seminar with John Darley, Dorman T. Warren Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School, and LAPA Fellow Traveler Lawrence Solan, Visiting Professor of the Council of the Humanities and Linguistics and Don Forchelli Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School, for a discussion of "Creating Harm without Doing Wrong."  The commentator will be Gideon Rosen, Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Council of the Humanities. 

As always, the LAPA format asks that seminar participants familiarize themselves with the paper in advance. The commentator will open the session by summarizing the main themes in the paper and presenting some topics for discussion. The author then has the right of first response before we open to the floor for questions. The seminar will end with a brief reception in the Library Lounge at the Bendheim Center
for Finance
, giving everyone a chance to mingle and meet.

Lawrence Solan is the Don Forchelli Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School, where he is Director of the Center for the Study of Law, Language, and Cognition. He holds both a law degree and a Ph.D. in linguistics. His scholarly works are largely devoted to exploring interdisciplinary issues related to law, language and psychology, especially in the areas of statutory and contractual interpretation, the attribution of liability and blame, and linguistic evidence. He is the author of The Language of Judges and (with Peter Tiersma) Speaking of Crime: The Language of Criminal Justice. His new book, The Langauge of Statutes: Laws and their Interpretation, will be published in 2010 by the University of Chicago Press. At Princeton, Solan is a visiting professor in the Linguistics Program and a visiting fellow in the Psychology Department.

John Darley is the Dorman T. Warren Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. His past research examines the ways in which individuals construct their representations of the interpersonal world in which they find themselves. His original work demonstrated that people often failed to intervene in emergency situations because they falsely interpreted the signals they got from the behavior of others as indicating that no real emergency was taking place. Even when they interpreted the event as an emergency, their responsibility for intervening was diffused by their knowledge that others were present who could also respond. The book reporting this research, co -authored with Bibb Latane, received several prizes. In an American Psychologist article, he and Russell Fazio outlined a conceptualization of the psychological version of the self fulfilling prophecy, in which people unknowingly act to bring about confirmations of their erroneous perceptions of their interactants, making those originally false perceptions "true" at least for their interactions with those people, and occasionally true in deeper ways.

Gideon Rosen  received his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1992. He joined the Princeton faculty in 1993, having taught previously at the University of Michigan. His areas of research include metaphysics, epistemology and moral philosophy. He is the author (with John Burgess) of A Subject With No Object (Oxford, 1997). In 2002, he was the recipient of a Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellowship, which gave him the opportunity to spend the 2003-2004 academic year at the New York University Law School taking the first-year law school curriculum and serving as a Hauser Fellow in Global Law. Gideon Rosen is Chair of the Council of the Humanities.