Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
PhilosophyPart of Humanities

Passionate, Within Reason Study Day Event

Lifelong Learning
Philosophy Image
10:00 - 16:00
24 November 2018
Avenue Campus, Highfield Road, Southampton, Hampshire, SO17 1BF

For more information regarding this event, please email Lifelong Learning at .

Event details

A study day delivered by Philosophy at the University of Southampton.

Bookings Are now closed!

"Emotions such as fear, anger, guilt and love all play influential roles in our lives. Susceptibility to such emotions makes us human, and we might think that someone like Spock with a diminished emotional life is missing out on something important. On the other hand, emotions are also sometimes thought to be irrational impulses that distract from us from the light of reason.

In this study day we'll investigate the emotions and the role they play in our lives. We'll be especially interested in the relationship between emotions and rationality: Can an emotion be rational? Could you be rational if it weren't for your emotions? Might emotions be irrational but valuable nonetheless?"


9.30 Registration and coffee.

10:10 Welcome and introduction by Dr Alex Gregory.

10:15 Talk by Dr Alex Gregory.
Talk title: Being unreasonable, and better for it.
Description: Our emotions might often seem unreasonable, as when you fly into a rage at a minor slight. Such unreasonable tendencies often seem to be grounds for regret. But might we think of our emotions as irrational, but be thankful for them anyway? We'll look at the interpersonal role of the emotions.

11:15 Refreshment break.

11:30 Talk by Dr Conor McHugh.
Talk title: Emotion and Reason.
Description: It's common to contrast emotion and reason as though these are wholly distinct - perhaps even mutually opposed - faculties. Yet we also sometimes regard emotions as reasonable (e.g. being pleased by a personal success) or unreasonable (e.g. being afraid of kittens). How, then, are emotion and reason related?

12:30 Lunch

13:30 Talk by Dr Brian McElwee.
Talk title: Blame: What is it good for, and when is it appropriate?
Description: Emotions of blame play a central role in our social lives together. When people act wrongly, we respond with feelings of blame and resentment, and we express these feelings by reproaching, protesting or complaining about their behaviour. In this session, we explore the benefits and the dangers of our blame-practices, and consider when blaming people for wrongdoing might be unfair or unwise.

14:30 Refreshment break.

14:45 Talk by Dr Giulia Felappi.
Talk title: Passions and emotions as mistakes in judgement.
Description: The Stoics famously suggested that we should free ourselves from all passions, and the Stoic sage is usually depicted as someone devoid of emotion and incapable of genuine human feelings such as happiness, rage, fear, pleasure etc. What did the Stoics really mean? Should we try to become Stoic sages?

15:45 End.

Privacy Settings