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Philosophy and Religion Colloquium Series: Sam Bruton

The Colloquium Series features relatively informal presentations of current research by Philosophy and Religion faculty and occasional guest speakers.  Sam Bruton will kick off the series with presentation titled, "Schadenfreude—A Defense of Common Sense." Students, colleagues, and the public are welcome.

Schadenfreude -- the pleasure we often feel at another's ill-fortune or suffering -- has traditionally been understood as a "guilty pleasure."  When experienced, it is typically not thought to be morally neutral, but rather, it is thought to be something we should be slightly embarrassed about or ashamed of.  Against this traditional understanding, two kinds of challenges recently have been made. One challenge maintains that as a private emotional state, feeling schadenfreude is not morally wrong, at least as long as it does not prompt us to act impermissibly.  Another challenge maintains that feeling schadenfreude is morally problematic only when directed at someone whose ill-fortune is not deserved. 

In opposition to both challenges, Bruton defends the common-sense conception of schadenfreude as a common but morally objectionable reaction to others' woes.      

Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at 4:00pm

Liberal Arts Building, Room 303
3144 Pearl St, Hattiesburg, MS 39406