On January 22nd, Cheshire Calhoun will be giving a talk as part of the Freedom Center Colloquium Series. The title of the talk is: "Well Content." Cheshire is Professor of Philosophy and Faculty Head at Arizona State University and a Research Professor at the Freedom Center. She is also the current chair of the APA's board of officers. She works in the areas of normative ethics, moral psychology, philosophy of emotion, feminist philosophy, and gay and lesbian philosophy. An abstract of the talk is below. In addition, Cheshire has made a copy of the paper available in case anyone would be interested in reading it in advance. Please email Sameer Bajaj for a copy, firstname.lastname@example.org .
Thursday, Jan 22, 12:30-1:45pm, in the Kendrick Room at the Freedom Center, Marshall 280 (right above Paradise Bakery). Feel free to bring lunch.
For further information, please visit the Arizona Freedom Center at http://freedomcenter.arizona.edu/colloquium
We are temporal beings who are conscious of the temporal unfolding of events, have expectations about how events ought to unfold, and are capable of counterfactually imagining how they might have unfolded. We are also evaluators who assess the goodness and badness of our present condition and the present we might have had had things turned out differently. For such beings, the present offers a plethora of opportunities for discontent. The aim of this essay is to work out an account of contentment as a response to imperfect desire satisfaction and to argue that a disposition to contentment, understood as a disposition to appreciate the goods in one’s present condition and to use expectation frames that enable such appreciation, is a virtue. I begin in part I with the 18th century account of contentment as a virtue. In part II, I lay out an analysis of what contentment and discontentment are. In part III, I argue that a disposition to content oneself with the way that the temporal course of events has in fact unfolded is a virtue.