Heidi Lene Maibom
PhD (London);

CandPhil (Copenhagen);

Associate Professor (Carleton);


My research focuses on folk psychology and moral psychology. Folk psychology is our practice of thinking of one another in terms of what we think, feel, want, and so on. The question is how we do this. Do we use something like a theory of psychology or do we imagine being in others' shoes? I think we do both, only when we imagine being others, we become motivated by what they want. Nevertheless, many of our social skills are probably largely the same as many other animals', even though they don't think about thoughts, feelings, etc.

I am also interested in what makes us moral. Does morality requires a certain level of intelligence or rationality, or perhaps an ability to feel empathy or sympathy? By looking at immorality in ordinary people and psychopaths, we can figure out what goes wrong when we fail to do what is good or right. We can then determine the moral responsibility of mentally ill people, and understand the psychological basis of morality in us all.

I've taught courses in philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology, moral psychology, and philosophy of artificial intelligence & cognitive science, but I'm also interested in ancient Greek philosophy, ethics, and philosophy of science.