Frey and Vogler Keynote Stockholm Conference

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Photo by Erik Angner

Our scholar Erik Angner has coordinated the workshop “Workshop: Happiness, Virtue, and the Meaning of Life” at Stockholm University.

In recent years, psychologists, neuroscientists, economists, and other scientists have turned their attention to traditional philosophical themes of happiness, virtue, and the meaning of life. Perhaps not coincidentally, philosophers’ interest in these themes appears to have been rekindled.

This two-day workshop aims to close the gap between empirical and philosophical approaches to questions of happiness, virtue, and the meaning of life, in the interest of encouraging the development of an empirically informed philosophy and a science with philosophical awareness.

The workshop’s keynotes are the Co-Principal Investigators for Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life.


Jennifer A. Frey’s talk is

Self-Love and Self-Transcendence
 
This paper will address the question of the connections between virtue, happiness, and meaning of life through the lens of “self-transcendence.”  I will explore what the concept of self-transcendence means by way of an account of appropriate self-love.  Aquinas argues that vice, and bad human action generally, should be understood in terms of inordinate (excessive or misdirected) self-love.  Appropriate self-love, by contrast, inclines one to, and finds its ultimate fulfillment in, the love of others; in short, it is a “self-transcendent” love. In this paper, I will explore Aquinas’s account of appropriate self-love as the foundation for the good or happy life, and the implications of this account for virtue ethics.

Candace Vogler’s talk is

Synderesis

Aquinas holds that human beings are the animals that have to figure out what to do–things are differently challenging for us than they are for other kinds of animals, however careful he is to notice that the highest levels of cognitive functioning in some nonhuman animals are very close to the simplest levels of human cognitive functioning.  But he also holds that we come equipped with something that he calls a “natural habit”–synderesis.  Synderesis gives us some initial direction, and gains more specific content as we mature.  In this talk, I will discuss Aquinas’s notion of synderesis, and explain the sense in which it is plausible to think that there is such a habit, linking my discussion to some work in developmental psychology with an occasional nod in the direction of controversy in contemporary Anglophone philosophy about the ‘guise of the good’ thesis.

For more about the workshop, speakers, and schedule, visit http://www.philosophy.su.se/english/about-us/events/workshop-happiness-virtue-and-the-meaning-of-life

Audio: “On the Connections Between Virtue, Happiness, and Meaning” at the Franke Institute for the Humanities

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photo by Anna Bruzgulis
Click here for more photos from this event

We were delighted when the University of Chicago’s Franke Institute for the Humanities asked Principal Investigator and Director Candace Vogler to give the first Winter quarter “Every Wednesday Luncheon” talk to UChicago faculty and invited guests on January 13, 2016. Our Scholar Marc G. Berman gave the introduction and a lively Q&A followed the talk.

To listen, click “On the Connections Between Virtue, Happiness, and Meaning”.

 

Save the Date! Live streaming John Haldane’s lecture “Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life” 12-14-15

live-stream-Haldane-Dec-14-John Haldane will discuss the growing consensus in the field of positive psychology that virtues are the cornerstone of a happy life, including how the sciences of human behavior are related to philosophical investigations of value and conduct, and how ethical evaluation of action has to do with the issues of existential meaning and happiness.

This lecture will live stream from the University of South Carolina at 6pm cst, 7pm est.

John Haldane is professor of philosophy and director of the Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs at the University of St Andrews, and the J. Newton Rayzor, Sr., Distinguished Professor in Philosophy at Baylor University. He is a scholar with the “Virtue, Happiness, and Meaning of Life” project.

Haldane’s research interests include issues in the history of philosophy; philosophy of mind; social and political philosophy, ethics, and aesthetics. Prof. Haldane obtained a bachelor of arts in philosophy in 1980 and a Ph.D. in 1984. He has held fellowships from the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Pittsburgh. A proponent of analytical approaches to the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, Prof. Haldane has authored or edited dozens of articles and books, including “An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Religion”, “Faithful Reason: Essays Catholic and Philosophical”, “Reasonable Faith”, and “Atheism and Theism”. He has also appeared on several BBC radio and television programs and contributed to the Times, the Daily Telegraph, The Scotsman, and several other outlets.

For more information, visit https://virtue.uchicago.edu/haldane.

Webcast October 17, 2015 – “Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life: A Collaboration”

Streaming live from the Neubauer Collegium. Registration for this event is full, so closed, but you can view a live webcast here on Saturday, October 17, at 2pm central time.  Click here to live stream the event. http://uchic.ag/live.

Principal Investigators Candace Vogler and Jennifer A. Frey present “Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life: A Collaboration”

Under what conditions do the everyday activities associated with being a good person provide a source of happiness and meaning in human life? What is the difference between morally serious people whose lives give them deep happiness and a sense of purpose, and morally serious people whose lives feel hollow?

We are embarking on a 28-month project funded by the John Templeton Foundation to explore and research these questions. The project, hosted by the Neubauer Family Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago and the University of South Carolina at Columbia, brings together an international gathering of 30 scholars in philosophy, psychology, and religious studies to engage in collaborative research on trans-personal, self-transcendent good as a framework for investigating fundamental questions about human life.