Naud van der Ven


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Thinking for someone else

What happens when one thinks for someone else?

We continuously do so and we cannot just stop it, but perhaps there is more to it than we think. When we, consciously or not, pour out our ideas and well-meant plans over other people, these may get hurt because of that. And if we note that, it’s confusing. Indeed, we have the best intentions, don’t we?

The philosopher Levinas talks extensively about this sobering experience. He considers it to be a source of reflection and of mental growth. If the confrontation with someone else’s grief about our actions triggers the question ‘What am I doing?’ or ‘Do I go too far?’, then we may be on the track of one of our blind spots or illusions, Levinas says.

The workshop investigates the question when our thinking blinds us, and which confrontations help us to become conscious of that blinding. Proceeding along that path Naud van der Ven shows how Levinas’s thought can be translated to daily life.

See for a possible reaction to the workshop Something small.

Time: one-and-a-half to three hours

Number of participants: three to seven

Costs:  € 150,- per person

Literature (forthcoming): Naud van der Ven, The Shame of Reason in Organizational Change - A Levinasian Perspective. Dordrecht: Springer, 2010.