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?
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.