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Anger, Intentionality, and the View from Within

Friday, October 6, 2023
4:15 pm
Hall Auditorium, Green Room

Matthew Boyle is a Emerson and Grace Wineland Pugh Professor of Humanities and the Department Chair at the University of Chicago.

HIs talk considers a debate between Martha Nussbaum and Agnes Callard about the justifiability of anger as a response to perceived mistreatment. Nussbaum argues that anger involves a desire for “payback” that is fundamentally irrational, wheras Callard, while admitting that anger involves a desire for payback, defends this response as rational in its context. Boyle will argue that, rather than taking sides in this dispute, we should recognize the positions taken by Callard and Nussbaum as giving reflective expressions to two standpoints on anger that are necessarily available to anyone capable of experiencing anger.  He goes on to suggest – drawing on some thoughts from Sartre – that standpoints analogous to those of Callard and Nussbaum are possible for a range of human emotions, and that recognizing the possibility of this double standpoint can teach us important lessons about the validity that emotional responses and the limits of such validity.

This lecture is a Philosophy Colloquium Lecture.

Matthew Boyle
Matthew Boyle
Emerson and Grace Wineland Pugh Professor of Humanities, Department Chair (2023-2024), University of Chicago