In 2020, the usually bittersweet activity of browsing Facebook or Instagram, with their feeds full of vacation photos and pictures of friends’ kids, is often devoid of any sweetness. Instead, we’re faced with a feed full of anger, resentment, envy, jealousy, and indignation. As we’ve faced a year of COVID and political and social unrest, online interactions can become so toxic that taking a break from them has become synonymous with self-care.
Prof. Sara Protasi gave a public lecture, entitled “Envy and Resentment in the Time of Coronavirus” for Humanities Washington‘s fall online series, “What These Times Mean: Navigating 2020″. You can now watch the entire lecture and the Q&A below!
One of our very own, Professor Sara Protasi, has recently published an article in the 85th issue of the Institute of Art and Ideas magazine. In her essay, Professor Protasi examines the troubling modern day conceptions of true love and its potential implications. To read her essay click here.
University of Nebraska–Lincoln have sent out a call for abstracts for their 2019 Ethics and Broader Considerations of Technology Conference. Submissions should be on topics of ethics and technology. This conference is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Prof. Tubert will be a featured speaker at this conference.
Submission Deadline: June 15, 2019 Conference Dates: October 31–November 2, 2019
Bertrand Russell said that envy was one of the most potent causes of unhappiness, and it’s well known as one of the seven deadly sins. But is envy always a bad thing? Is it simply a petty emotion we should try to avoid, or could envy help us understand ourselves more? Is envy rooted in unhealthy comparison with others, or does it come from our own vision of excellence? Could envy even be used to improve ourselves? Josh and Ken consider whether to envy their guest, Sara Protasi from the University of Puget Sound.
The episode will be available to stream for free starting Friday, February 1st. It will be available for free for one week. To listen, visit this link.
Loving wisely involves the cultivation, even if not the full achievement, of virtues such as compassion and unbiased self-reflection: it involves the capacity to feel envy toward the beloved in a way that is not only destructive but also constructive.
As a guest on an episode of RN, Prof. Protasi also discussed the connection between love and envy and how they are perpetuated in relationships. To listen to “Frenemies” click here.
The Department of Philosophy is sponsoring a lecture, “The Perfect Bikini Body: Can We Really All Have It? Loving Gaze as an Anti-Oppressive Beauty Ideal” by professor Sara Protasi on September 22, 2017. Professor Protasi tells us about her talk:
“We often hear the slogan that ‘everybody is beautiful.’ But what does that mean? This talk examines two possible interpretations, rejects both, and proposes a third one. According to the ‘No Standards View,’ the slogan means that everybody is maximally and equally beautiful. According to the ‘Multiple Standards View,’ the slogan means that we have to widen our standards of beauty. The former fails to be aspirational and empowering, while the latter fails to be sufficiently inclusive. I propose a third view, according to which everybody is beautiful in the sense that everybody can be perceived through a loving gaze (with the exception of evil individuals who are wholly unworthy of love). I show that this view is inclusive, aspirational, and empowering, and authentically aesthetical.”
Date: September 22, 2017
Time: 4 p.m.–5:30 p.m.
Location: Wheelock Student Center
Professor Justin Tiehen recently published a blog post on Ad Populum about how statistics of tweets about anti-Semitism may be misleading. You can read the post here.
“More realistically, a scenario in which lots and lots of people are writing occasional anti-Semitic tweets while a few people are writing tons of them (70% worth) doesn’t seem like much of an improvement on a scenario with the same overall number of people writing anti-Semitic tweets but with a more equal distribution. If this is right, the 70%-1,600 figure seems like the wrong way to try to get a handle on the extent of the problem.”
“And it doesn’t even stop at race: I have become aware of many other forms of discrimination, over the years, and that has greatly increased my capacity at catching myself being implicitly homophobic or transphobic, fattist, ableist, and so forth. But, in fact, it seems to have only increased my awareness, not my ability to be less biased.”
Puget Sound Philosophy Professor Sara Protasi writes about implicit racist behavior and uses an ancient metaphor from the Buddhist tradition to compare and examine how we can change these tendencies in her essay in The Prindle Post: So I am a racist: What do I do now?
Can you know how something tastes without tasting it yourself? Some philosophers say that first-hand experience is required to judge something’s taste. But this is odd since first-hand experience isn’t required to know what colour or shape something is—you can learn that from another person. So other philosophers say that you can learn about tastes from others—although it might be difficult in ordinary circumstances. How well, then, do we communicate about taste?
Does a moral flaw in a cup of coffee make it worse as a cup of coffee? Does our knowledge of a coffee’s moral status make any difference to the way we experience its flavour? Or, to give a simple example, would a direct-trade coffee taste better than its non-direct-trade counterpart?
Puget Sound Philosophy Professor Sam Liao and co-writer Aaron Meskin integrate philosophy into everyday life by exploring how well people communicate about the taste of coffee and how morality relates to taste in Experimenting with Coffee.