Wed, Apr 24 at 7:30 p.m. | 90 minutes
What is the connection between desire and happiness? Can we be happy without desire? And why do have desires that lead to unhappiness? Join philosopher Jeanne Proust as she walks us through different schools of thought on 'desire' at Berg'n Beerhall.
If we are lucky enough to have the means to do so, we can get what we desire to fulfill it - but we could also change our desires. Why do we desire things that are out of reach, if we can fit our desires to what we have? Why do we have desires that make us unhappy? And what can we do about it?
In this Olio, we'll explore various schools of thought, from the Stoics' condemnation of desire to Spinoza's definition of desire as the very essence of men. Why do I want what I want? Is it really because I derive pleasure from it? I desire what I don't have, so desire is a painful feeling of lacking, missing, longing in that sense. But could I be happy if I didn’t have any desire to do, be, have anything?
Jeanne Proust's research focuses on Théodule Ribot’s Diseases of the Will, both in philosophical and psychological perspectives. While teaching at different universities here in New York, Jeanne is advocating for a widening of philosophical education beyond the academic frontiers.