Title: Growing more Grateful
Speaker: Daniel Telech (Lund University, Philosophy)
Date: Friday March 10, 2023
Abstract: Philosophical discussion of gratitude tends to emphasize the way in which emotion is responsive to manifestations of benevolence (or good will). In some cases, however, gratitude ‘grows’—or increases in strength— across time, in ways that are intuitively fitting but unaccounted for by gratitude’s sensitivity to benevolence. To make sense of this kind of ‘gratitude-growth’, I argue that there are conditions in which manifestations of benevolence rationally accommodate the unforeseen and unintended outcomes to which they give rise, rendering fitting a greater degree of gratitude than was fitting in response to the original manifestation of benevolence. Central to the argument is the idea that our benevolent hopes can, at least when suitably related to benevolent intentions, augment the degree of gratitude that is fitting. While one might worry that the fittingness of gratitude-growth implies a kind of positive resultant moral luck, I demonstrate that unfairness objections to moral luck generate asymmetrical verdicts concerning negative (i.e. resentment- or blame-involving) and positive kinds of moral luck.
About the speaker: Daniel Telech received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Chicago. His is currently Senior Research Fellow for Practical Philosophy at Lund University. Previously he was Post-Doctoral Fellow at The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. His research explores the nature and ethics of our responses to blameworthy and praiseworthy actions. He has published in journals such as Ethics, Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility, European Journal of Philosophy, and Philosophy Compass. In addition, is the co-editor of The Moral Psychology of Gratitude, with Rowman & Littlefield. For more information about the speaker go to https://philpeople.org/profiles/daniel-telech .