Philosophy, Research

Workshop on the History of the Philosophical Concept of Pleasure

June 06, 2014

On May 4-5, the Department of Philosophy hosted a successful workshop concerning the history of the philosophical concept of pleasure. Participants included members of the philosophy departments at SFU and UBC, undergraduate students and graduate students from both universities, as well as presenters from Canada, the US, the UK and Switzerland. UK and Swiss presenters participated through video-conferencing software Blue Jeans with great success.

The workshop started with two papers on views of the ancient philosophers Plato (Emily Fletcher, Wisconsin) and Aristotle (Matthew Strohl, Montana), followed by two papers from the medieval period on medieval Islamic philosophy (Sajjad Rizvi, Exeter), and Thomas Aquinas (Martin Pickavé, Toronto).

Four presenters focused on views in early modern philosophy: Nicolas Malebranche (Lisa Shapiro, SFU) and George Berkeley (Melissa Frankel, Carleton), a debate between Maupertuis and Rousseau on whether there is a pleasure of existence (Hans Lottenbach, Kenyon), Immanuel Kant (Keren Gorodeisky, Auburn), John Stuart Mill (Dominique Kuenzle, Zurich), and accounts of pleasure in contemporary philosophy of mind (Murat Aydede, UBC).

The workshop was organized by SFU's Lisa Shapiro to facilitate the publication of a volume (focused on the concept of pleasure) she is editing as part of a new series: Oxford Philosophical Concepts.

The event was supported by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and SFU's  Philosophy Department.