Rutgers Class of 1970's presents Professor Gideon Rosen
Managing Moral Outrage: How Philosophy Can Change Your (Emotional) Life
Abstract: You can change your emotional state by taking a pill, but you can also change it by giving yourself reasons.This lecture explores the basis for this deep connection between reason and emotion and then argues that philosophy, with its distinctive battery of reasons and arguments, can motivate pervasive and potentially valuable changes in how we respond emotionally to events in our own lives and the wider world. The discussion focuses on the emotions that constitute moral blame: guilt, resentment and indignation, but also on a distinct emotion I call “moral outrage”. The talk will present a skeptical argument designed to neutralize the blame emotions. If successful, this argument provides a rational antidote to guilt and resentment across the board. The availability of this antidote raises the worrying possibility that rational people will be left with nothing left to feel in response to social and political injustice. (“The best lack all conviction, while the worst/ Are full of passionate intensity”) The talk will argue that moral outrage, unlike moral blame, is not vulnerable to skeptical attack and is therefore available as a stable emotional response to rank injustice
Thursday, April 11, 2019, 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm in the Teleconference RM of Archibald S. Alexander Library, 169 College Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. All are welcome!