WORKSHOP: VIRTUE, HAPPINESS, AND THE MEANING OF LIFE
May 5–6, 2017
In recent years, psychologists, neuroscientists, economists, and other scientists have turned their attention to traditional philosophical themes of happiness, virtue, and the meaning of life. Perhaps not coincidentally, philosophers’ interest in these themes appears to have been rekindled. This two-day workshop aims to close the gap between empirical and philosophical approaches to questions of happiness, virtue, and the meaning of life, in the interest of encouraging the development of an empirically informed philosophy and a science with philosophical awareness.
Goals include to explore the degree to which the conclusions of philosophical reflection and systematic empirical study of issues of happines, virtue, and the meaning of life are converging (or not); what in general contemporary scientists can learn from philosophy, its history and methodology, and what contemporary philosophers stand to gain from engaging with the empirical literature; what in particular recent work has revealed about the nature of happiness (e.g., if it includes an account of the meaning of life) and virtue (e.g., whether it can be understood as a self-transcendent practical orientation); what the power and limitations of empirical methods are in addressing philosophical questions; and whether there remains a space for armchair philosophizing in addressing the topics.
The workshop is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy at Stockholm University in collaboration with the project “Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life” <http://virtue.uchicago.edu> which is made possible by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation.
Jennifer Frey (University of South Carolina) “Self-Love and Self-Transcendence” (Keynote)
Candace Vogler (University of Chicago) “Synderesis” (Keynote)
Anna Alexandrova (Cambridge University) “Science and Individual Well-Being”