Illinois State Associate Professor of Philosophy Daniel Breyer will give a presentation titled “Thinking Philosophically About Anger” at 7 p.m. Monday, February 29, in Community Room B of the Normal Public Library.

The event will be hosted by the Bloomington-Normal Freethinkers. Attendees should park in the College Avenue parking deck, which is free for library patrons.

Presentation description

Many people believe that anger is a natural and useful emotion because it motivates us to battle injustice. However, a single moment of anger can destroy a lifetime of effort, ruining not only our own lives but also the lives of those we love. This is why ancient philosophers like the Buddhist Śāntideva and the Roman Stoic Seneca argued that we should completely eliminate anger from our lives.

Are Śāntideva and Seneca right? How should we think about anger? Is anger a basic human emotion that we should manage in an attempt to harness its power? Or is anger a socially constructed emotion, which we should resist?

This presentation will invite us to consider the philosophers’ arguments, ask ourselves whether we find them convincing, and think about what contemporary philosophers and psychologists might add to the conversation.