Gideon Rosen, Stuart Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University, will deliver a New York Institute of Philosophy Lecture, “Rage Against the Machine: Anger as a Political Emotion,” on Feb. 10.
Gideon Rosen, Stuart Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University, will deliver a New York Institute of Philosophy Lecture, “Rage Against the Machine: Anger as a Political Emotion,” on Friday, February 10, 4 p.m. at New York University’s Jurow Lecture Hall, located in the Silver Center for Arts and Science, 100 Washington Square East (at Washington Place).
How should we respond to large-scale social injustices, such as the pattern of police shootings to which the Black Lives Matter movement has called attention? Rosen will focus on our moral and emotional responses: How should we feel when we take in this sort of pattern of injustice? Whom should we blame? How should we judge?
The natural response to injustice recognized as such is anger (moral outrage), but anger is a form of blame, Rosen posits. For deep reasons, it is hard to stay angry at someone when one is genuinely uncertain about whether he is morally responsible for what he did. Confronted with large-scale social injustice, Rosen observes, this is our predicament: it is often quite hard to say, given our uncertainty about the underlying facts, who if anyone is to blame, both for concrete episodes of injustice and for the pattern as a whole. Our emotional response, he says, thus tends to oscillate between blame focused on individuals — which ebbs as we lose confidence in their blameworthiness — and an abstract frustration that is qualitatively quite different from anger. Rosen ultimately asks whether there is a stable form of political anger that does not depend on judgments of blameworthiness in this way.
Rosen’s areas of research include metaphysics, epistemology, and moral philosophy. He is the author (with John Burgess) of A Subject With No Object (Oxford, 1997) and co-editor of The Norton Introduction to Philosophy (Norton 2015). From 2006 to 2014, Rosen served as chair of Princeton’s Council of the Humanities.
The New York Institute of Philosophy is part of NYU’s Department of Philosophy, which is co-sponsoring the series. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org is required. The series is free and open to the public, which may call 212.998.9056 or email email@example.com for more information. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
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