OlioHouse Weekend | Desire & Free Will

Jeanne Proust at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sat, Mar 16 at noon   |   90 minutes

Why does our will disobey us? What is happening when we go against our intentions? Let's gather at OlioHouse to investigate the nature of will in an original way, questioning the blurry frontiers between the normal and the abnormal, the healthy and the morbid.

Why does our will disobey us? What is happening when we go against our intentions?

The classical debates about "the weakness of the will" focus mainly on the moral aspect of the inner tension between will and desire, allegedly opposed. I know what I want to be doing, but some obscure forces push me towards doing something else, potentially radically opposed to what I know I should do rationally. In this OlioHouse weekend, we’ll be exploring some 'dysfunctions' of the will: indecisiveness, apathy, but also obsessions and addictions which are familiar to all of us.


How do philosophers approach the relationship between desires, passions, and willpower? And also, more generally, what exactly is "willpower" made of? Maybe we can precisely answer this question by observing what happens when the will dissolves itself.

It might be necessary to get away from too rigid a theory of mental faculties, where willpower is classically defined as a rational category of the mind, among memory, imagination, or judgment. Maybe what we call voluntary actions or free will are simply the expressions of the individual's physiology, character, and effective tendencies, and perhaps the lack of motivation, addictive behavior, and the inability for decision making should be reevaluated with an approach that involves philosophy, psychology, and physiology.

Let's gather at OlioHouse to investigate the nature of will in an original way, questioning the blurry frontiers between the normal and the abnormal, the healthy and the morbid.


Schedule for the weekend:

Saturday:

Noon - Arrive at OlioHouse for a communal lunch

1:00pm - A Socratic-style Olio with Jeanne - "Weakness of the will",
where we'll question: Is it possible to act against our best judgment?
Are the inner conflicts we sometimes feel happening between "desire" and "will"?

2:30pm - Free time to explore Wassaic and hangout around OlioHouse

4:00pm - Jeanne will teach Acedia, Abulia, Apathy: Mental Paralysis
Where we'll question: What happens when our will gets flabby? How about a reevaluation of laziness?

7:00pm - Communal cooking

Sunday:

9:00am: Breakfast

10:00am: Yoga led by Julia Hirsch and a wrap-up writing workshop with Jeanne centered on the topic of indecision and repetitive behaviors. We'll be sharing some ways that we deal with this in our daily lives and explore some possible remedies.


Teacher: Jeanne Proust

After studying in Bordeaux, Berlin, and Paris, Jeanne Proust has been teaching Philosophy, Art History and French Literature for the last 10 years in the US. her research has focused on the pathologies of the willpower, both in philosophical and psychological perspectives, but her interests are wide: among many fields, she does research in Ethics, Philosophy of Technologies and Aesthetics.


Venue: OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY
Add to Calendar March 16, 2019noon March 16, 2019 America/New_York Think Olio | OlioHouse Weekend | Desire & Free Will Why does our will disobey us? What is happening when we go against our intentions? Let's gather at OlioHouse to investigate the nature of will in an original way, questioning the blurry frontiers between the normal and the abnormal, the healthy and the morbid. None

What is Think Olio?


Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

Read more about our mission, our story, and how we are doing this.

Scenius Membership

If Friday night lectures, museum field trips, and living room salons sound like your kind of thing, then you've found your people. We can't wait to welcome you to the Think Olio Scenius. More info


Other Upcoming Olios


Communities Under Capitalism: Meeting our Needs During Crisis

Location: at Online

Teacher: Lauren Hudson

Jan. 6, 2021, 7:30 p.m.


Stay in Touch


Instagram Mailing List Contact

Get Involved


Liaisons Host an Olio

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.