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OZSW Moral Psychology Study Group Meeting
7 December 2023 @ 13:30 - 17:15
The next meeting of the OZSW Moral Psychology Study Group will take place on December 7th 2023 at Tilburg University, Room D 152b. If you would like to attend please send me an email at email@example.com to register.
The program is as follows:
13.30 – 14:30 Dr. Ruth Rebecca Tietjen (Tilburg University) – The Affective Dynamics of Humiliation, Violence, and Redemption
14:45 – 15.45 Dr. Rob Compaijen (Protestantse Theologische Universiteit) – Benign Envy?
16:15 – 17:15 Dr. Carme Isern Mas (University of the Balearic Islands) – Self-Deception: A Case Study in Folk Conceptual Structure
The Affective Dynamics of Humiliation, Violence, and Redemption
Ruth Rebecca Tietjen (Tilburg University)
In my talk, I develop a philosophical analysis of the affective dynamics of humiliation, violence, and redemption in the context of terrorism and asymmetric political conflicts. I argue that violence, as a reaction to experiences of humiliation, is not only a form of retaliation and self-defense but also an expression of the quest for redemption and self-transcendence. In my analysis, I draw on literature from the philosophy of emotions as well as neighboring disciplines, especially social psychology, political sciences, history, and religious studies. In the first part of my talk, I offer a phenomenological analysis of humiliation, thereby exploring three features: first, the way how anger- and shame-like emotions are intertwined in humiliation; second, the way how, in a political context, personal experiences of humiliation are intermingled with vicarious and group-based ones; and third, the fact that humiliation plays a role on both sides of asymmetric conflicts, leading to spirals of humiliation and violence. In the second part, I explore how violence is not only used as a political tool and does not only serve the purpose of retaliation and self-defense but also the purpose of individual and collective redemption. It transforms one’s aggrieved, powerless, and sinful self into a powerful, honorable, and virtuous self – in the most extreme case even dissolving one’s self, thereby promising salvation on both the individual and the group level.
Rob Compaijen (Protestantse Theologische Universiteit)
What, exactly, is envy? One answer to this question is not controversial. It is widely agreed that envy involves three elements: the envier, the envied person, and a good that the envied person possesses and that the envier regards as valuable. What is controversial, however, is a further issue: is envy necessarily vicious or can it also be benign? That is, does envy necessarily involve the desire that the envied person loses the good? This is argued, for example, by D’Arms & Kerr (2008) and Fussi (2017). Or is there also a benign form of envy, one that does not involve this desire? This is argued, for example, by Rawls (1971), Neu (1980), Taylor (2006), Van de Ven (2009; 2017) and Protasi (2021).
In this talk I will explore this controversial issue. More specifically, I will argue against the idea that there is benign form of envy. I will argue, that is, that envy necessarily involves hostility towards the envied person. In developing my argument, I will engage quite extensively with Sara Protasi’s recent book The Philosophy of Envy (2021) in which she brings forward the most sophisticated defense of the existence of benign envy (she calls it ‘emulative envy’).
The most important point I seek to establish in my talk is this: defenses of purported cases of benign envy misrepresent the pain that is experienced by the ‘envier’. If we look carefully at the cases that are presented as involving benign envy we will see that the pain the ‘envier’ experiences is about the lack of the desired good instead of the inferiority vis-à-vis the envied person.
Self-Deception: A Case Study in Folk Conceptual Structure
Carme Isern Mas (University of the Balearic Islands)
Theoretical debates on self-deception focus on defining necessary and sufficient conditions for the behavior. Two main perspectives are the intentionalist view, requiring conflicting beliefs and the agent’s intention to deceive (Demos, 1960; Rorty, 1972), and the motivationalist view, which asserts the necessity of the agent’s motivation to believe a proposition (Mele, 2001). Additionally, there is disagreement on whether successful deception is essential, with some arguing for it (Mele, 2001, 2010), and others opposing the idea (Audi, 1982; Funkhouser, 2005; Gendler, 2007).
This paper investigates the role of these features in the lay concept of self-deception. Experiments 1 and 2 revealed that various candidate features, such as intent, belief change, and motive, are treated as sufficient but non-necessary conditions for the lay concept of self-deception. This prompts the question of whether there are multiple lay concepts, with different participants endorsing competing theories; or if individual participants assign varying weight to different features, resulting in wavering judgments in cases of similarity. In Experiment 3, by-participant regression models uncovered that most participants consider multiple characteristics additively, while only a minority of participants treat a characteristic (or any combination thereof) as both necessary and sufficient. Consequently, these findings suggest that lay philosophical concepts have a prototype structure. They also shed light on why research in experimental philosophy often engenders partial support for rival theories.
About the OZSW event calendar
The OZSW event calendar lists academic philosophy events organized by/at Dutch universities, and is offered by the OZSW as a service to the research community. Please check the event in question – through their website or organizer – to find out if you could participate and whether registration is required. Obviously we carry no responsibility for non-OZSW events.