Conference at the University of Stockholm, March 2-3, 2012
One striking feature of the ancient discussions about the nature of virtue is the widely shared conviction that virtue, or virtuous activity, is intimately tied to pleasure. The idea, in short, is that virtuous activity is the most pleasant of all human activities. Still, the precise role of pleasure in virtue is often evasive. Aristotle, for one, holds that virtuous activity gives rise to pleasure, and to the most intense pleasure at that. But he also argues that virtuous activity should be chosen independently of whatever pleasure or joy it may bring to the agent. The question arises whether pleasure is a merely supervenient phenomenon, or whether it plays an instrumental role in virtue, and what that role is supposed to be.
Even though ancient virtue theory has been immensely influential in contemporary work on the virtues, the conviction that there exists an intimate connection between virtue and pleasure is not as common today as it once was. The purpose of this workshop is to explore, from the point of view of historical as well as modern moral theorizing, what grounds there may be for thinking that there indeed exists such a connection, what this connection would amount to more specifically, and why it may be important for a virtue-centered morality to establish a connection between virtue and pleasure in the first place.
Speakers and talks:
Johan Brännmark (Lund): "Pleasure and the Life of Virtue"
Talbot Brewer (Virginia): "Minding the Gap: Pleasure and Incomplete Acitivity"
Amber Carpenter (York): "Pleasure as Complex, Pleasure as Temptress"
David Charles (Oxford): TBA
Panagiotis Dimas (Oslo and Athens): "Epicurus on Pleasure, Desire and Virtue"
Gösta Grönroos (Stockholm): "Aristotle on the Function of Pleasure in Virtuous Activity"
Christiana Olfert (Tufts): "What Can We Learn from Pleasure?"
Daniel C Russell (Arizona and Melbourne): "Why the Stoics Think We Shouldn't Grieve"
Frans Svensson (Stockholm): "On Being Virtuous but Bored with Virtuous Activity"
For further information about the conference (including abstracts, venue, schedule, etc.), please visit the oficial conference website which can be reached here.