Emotions: From Politics to Ethics - A Philosophical Workshop with Professor Martha C. Nussbaum, June 17, 2019 at HCAS

This workshop draws inspiration from philosopher Martha C. Nussbaum’s work on emotions in politically and ethically demanding social and historical situations. The event will be held at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (HCAS), where Martha C. Nussbaum is a Honorary Fellow.

On the one hand, the workshop will study the role of emotions in the delineation of human communities. Emotions such as anger, fear, hatred, resentment, shame and disgust, but also a narrowly tribal compassion and hope for the victory of one's own group, have powerful functions in the social processes of stigmatization, marginalization and exclusion/inclusion. As philosophical analyses illuminate the intentional structures of emotions and their conditions, they can also identify means to counter or balance potentially harmful emotions with negative effects by practical reasoning and by other emotions that may have positive effects, such as hope for justice, fear for the decline of justice, curiosity, a universal compassion and love.

On the other hand, the workshop offers a unique opportunity to test and develop philosophical insights into several emotionally charged political phenomena that burden our own time such as hate speech, post-truth discourse and the recurring altruism-egoism debate including the emotionally charged question of the moral status of non-human animals.

We hereby invite you to a dialogue on political emotions and the politics of emotion with professor Martha C. Nussbaum.

Martha C. Nussbaum's (University of Chicago) most recent contributions include: The Monarchy of Fear: A Philosopher Looks at our Political Crisis (2018), Anger and Forgiveness: Resentment, Generosity, Justice (2016), Political Emotions: Why Love Matters for Justice (2013), The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age (2012), From Disgust to Humanity: Sexual Orientation and Constitutional Law (2010), Hiding from Humanity: Disgust, Shame and the Law (2006).

Speakers: Martha C. Nussbaum (Chicago), Jane Cowan (HCAS), Mikko Salmela (UH), Sami Pihlström (UH), Kai Alhanen (JyU), Antti Kauppinen (UH), Hanne Appelqvist (HCAS), Miira Tuominen (JyU), Sara Heinämaa (JyU)

Organizers: Sara Heinämaa (JyU, MEPA, AoF), Miira Tuominen (JyU), Tuomas Forsberg and Hanne Appelqvist (HCAS, UH) with professor Martha C. Nussbaum (Chicago)

Venue: Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Common Room (Fabianinkatu 24A, 3rd floor)


10:50–11:00  Welcome                                                  

11:00–11:50  Martha C. Nussbaum (Chicago): Misogyny and the Political Emotions

11:50–12:00  Comment by Jane Cowan (HCAS)

12:00–12:10  Comment by Sami Pihlström (UH)

12:10–12:45  Discussion

12:45–14:00  Lunch (for speakers and registered participants)

14:00–14:30  Mikko Salmela (UH): Shame and its Political Consequences in the Age of Neoliberalism

14:30–14:45  Comment by Kai Alhanen (JyU)

14:45–15:15  Discussion

15:15–15:45  Antti Kauppinen (UH): Two Faces of Rage

15:45–16:00  Comment by Hanne Appelqvist (HCAS)

16:00–16:30  Discussion

16:30–17:00  Coffee

17:00–17:30  Miira Tuominen (JyU): Self and Others in Porphyry’s Ethics of On Abstinence

17:30–17:45  Comment by Sara Heinämaa (JyU)

17:45–18:15  Discussion

19:00 Dinner at Nokka (for speakers and commentators)