Harvard University

Tamar Gendler: Five Ancient Secrets to Modern Happiness



TAMAR GENDLER is professor of philosophy at Yale University and chair of the university’s philosophy department. From 2006 to 2010, she served as chair of Yale’s cognitive science program. During the 2009- 2010 year, Gendler was a full-time student at Yale University, supported by a Mellon New Directions Fellowship, and took courses in neuroscience, psychology, and psychiatry.

Gendler has been on the faculty at Yale since 2006. From 2003-2006, she was associate professor of philosophy at Cornell University and co-director of Cornell’s program in cognitive studies. From 1997-2003, she taught philosophy at Syracuse University as an assistant and then associate professor.
Gendler received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard University in 1996 for work conducted under the tutelage of Robert Nozick, Derek Parfit, and Hilary Putnam. She received her BA in humanities and mathematics-and-philosophy from Yale University in 1987. Between her undergraduate and graduate studies, she did education policy work for the RAND Corporation.

Gendler’s professional philosophical writings focus primarily on issues in philosophical psychology, epistemology, metaphysics and aesthetics. Recently, she has given a number of public lectures on the topic of human flourishing. Most of her current professional work is on a cluster of issues surrounding the relations between explicit and implicit attitudes. She is interested in bringing together insights from traditional philosophical work on parts of the soul with contemporary work in social, cognitive, and clinical psychology.

Gendler’s other current interests include general questions about philosophical methodology, and a number of specific issues that arise from thinking about the relation between imagination and belief. Her earlier philosophical work addressed various topics in metaphysics and epistemology, including conceivability and possibility, perceptual experience, personal identity, and the methodology of thought experiments. Her research and teaching are informed both by the tools of traditional analytic philosophy, and by recent empirical work in developmental, cognitive and social psychology.

This event was originally presented on June 17, 2012 at the Yale University Art Gallery as part of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas.
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