THE COLUMBIA SOCIETY FOR COMPARATIVE PHILOSOPHY
Welcomes: RICHARD KIM (Loyola University Chicago)
With responses from: CHRISTOPHER GOWANS (Fordham University)
Please join on October 11, 2019 at 5:30 for his lecture entitled,
THE ROLE OF NEGATIVE EMOTIONS IN THE GOOD LIFE: REFLECTIONS FROM THE ZHUANGZI
ABSTRACT: The philosophical and psychological literature on well-being tend to focus on the prudential value of positive emotions such as pleasure, joy, or gratitude. But how do the negative emotions such as grief fit into our understanding of well-being? It is often assumed that negative emotions are intrinsically bad far us and that we should work toward eliminating them, especially from the perspective of our own well-being.
In this presentation I want to question this assumption by drawing on the ideas of Zhuangzi (a prominent early Daoist thinker from the 4th Century BCE) to argue that negative emotions are not intrinsically bad for us, and that their prudential value or disvalue is context dependent. Zhuangzi’s outlook, with his focus on the flexibility of perspectives and living according to our natural, spontaneous inclinations, gives us reason to reconsider the role of negative emotions in our lives and how we might think about them in a more constructive way.
DATE: October 11, 2019
TIME: 5:30-7:30 pm
PLACE: Rm. 101, 80 Claremont Ave, Columbia University