EPSSE in Lisbon

Last night, I returned to the US after nearly two months of writing and traveling in Portugal and Spain. How did I manage to pull off that trip, you might ask? A paper of mine, called “Jealousy and Self-Respect,” was accepted for presentation at the first annual conference of the European Philosophical Society for the Study of Emotions (EPSSE), which took place in Lisbon, Portugal, and I was fortunate to receive some faculty development funds to pay for my plane ticket and conference registration fees. Thank you, Colby-Sawyer College!

In my presentation, I explained an argument that some people have used to defend the claim that the emotion jealousy can help maintain or enhance morally valuable relationships, which can in turn ground people’s morally valuable self-respect, and thus that some jealousy is morally praiseworthy. I then discussed multiple objections to that argument, and concluded that the argument should be rejected. I got lots of productive feedback during the lively Q&A, and I look forward to presenting some similar material in a faculty colloquium at CSC in the coming academic year.

The whole conference was a truly wonderful experience. Philosophy of emotion is has grown a lot in recent years, but it is still very unusual to have an entire conference devoted to it, so spending three long days with other philosophers of emotion is a rare treat. During the conference, I saw 32 presentations by people from 6 continents about a huge range of philosophical issues! I learned an immense amount, met dozens of lovely and stimulating people, reconnected with some folks I already knew, and came away with pages of notes and ideas relating to both teaching and research that I look forward to drawing from well into the future.