Thu Jan 28, 2016
Howison Library, 4–6 PM
Cheshire Calhoun (Arizona State University)
The Art of Contentment
We are temporal beings who are conscious of the temporal unfolding of events, have expectations about how events ought to unfold, and are capable of counterfactually imagining how they might have unfolded. We are also evaluators who assess the goodness and badness of our present condition and the present we might have had had things turned out differently. For such beings, the present offers a plethora of opportunities for discontent. The aim of this essay is to work out an account of contentment as a response to imperfect desire satisfaction and to argue that a disposition to contentment, understood as a disposition to appreciate the goods in one¹s present condition and to use expectation frames that enable such appreciation, is a virtue.