OU Emotions Conference 2016

Owning Our Emotions — Emotion, Authenticity and the Self

International Research Conference

21–22 September 2016
Rooms 349 and 350, Senate House, London

Conference themes

How do emotions relate to the self?  On one possible view, emotions stand outside the self: they reflect biological drives or cultural demands independent of—perhaps even inimical to—the subject’s own interests or values; when we act out of emotion, we are driven to act by psychological forces external to ourselves.
But on another view, our emotional dispositions help to constitute who we are; words and deeds that come ‘from the heart’ are judged to have a special kind of worth, arising from their authenticity. In everyday contexts, people seem to think about emotion in both these ways, depending on the situation. But can these two views be reconciled? And if not, which view comes closer to the truth?
The purpose of this conference was to throw light on these questions, capitalising on the progress that has been made in the philosophy of emotion in recent years, as well as drawing on studies in the history of philosophy and on a range of philosophical traditions.

Keynote speakers

Professor Monika Betzler (Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, München):
Inverse akrasia: a case for reasoning about one’s emotions

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson (University of Birmingham):
Awe and self-transcendence (download slides here)

Professor Denis McManus (University of Southampton):
Norms, narratives, and all things considered: three Heideggerian models for the owning of emotions

Dr Carolyn Price (The Open University):
Authenticity: emotions, values, and likes (download slides here)

Professor Fabrice Teroni (University of Geneva):
Emotions and the self (download slides here)

Dr Jonathan Webber (University of Cardiff):
Authentic and inauthentic shame

Professor Christine Straehle (University of Ottawa*):
Vulnerability and love

Professor Justin White (Brigham Young University*):
Self-conception, self-ignorance, and authenticity

Mr Daniel Vanello (University of Warwick*):
Emotions, value, and pursuit of the self

*selected by blind peer review

The full conference programme, including abstracts, is available for download here

The conference was organized by the Philosophy Department of the Open University in conjunction with the Department’s Reasons and Norms research group. It is supported by the Mind Association and by the Institute of Philosophy

Monika Betzler

Monika Betzler

Carolyn Price

SG Chappell and C Price

Sophie-Grace Chappell and Carolyn Price

Fabrice Teroni

Fabrice Teroni Senate House


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  1. Pingback: Colloque : Owning Our Emotions — Emotion, Authenticity and the Self | Les émotions au Moyen Âge, carnet d'EMMA

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