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Rational and Fitting Happiness

Avenue Campus, Southampton, September 12-13th 2022

Conference Information

This conference will explore questions about when (un)happiness is fitting (appropriate), or rational, and related questions about its value. It is a commonplace that emotions can be fitting or unfitting - for example, fear of cancer seems more fitting than fear of house spiders, and anger seems more fitting when directed at racism than when directed at coffee tables. Since happiness is an emotion – indeed, a paradigm case – presumably happiness can also be fitting or unfitting. But exactly when is it fitting to be happy? And what’s the normative relevance of fitting happiness? Should we pursue happines even when it is unfitting? The conference will explore questions like these.

Confirmed speakers so far are Antti Kauppinen (University of Helsinki), Oded Na'Aman (Hebrew University), Jessica Isserow (University of Leeds), and Alex Gregory (Southampton University).

Two further speakers will be chosen from submitted abstracts. Interested parties should submit an anonymised abstract of 1000 words or less (not including references), to Tracy Storey by the end of Monday 6th June. Submissions should be suitable for a 45 minute presentation, and broadly on the themes of the conference - i.e. norms, values, and emotion, especially happiness or other nearby emotions. Decisions will be made shortly after the deadline, but feedback on submissions cannot be guaranteed. We will be able to provide meals and accommodation for speakers, and pay for travel expenses up to £200.

The event is gratefully sponspored by the Southampton Ethics Centre, The Aristotelian Society, and the Mind Association. Information about registration will appear in due course. For any other queries, please email the organiser, Dr. Alex Gregory or else the adminstrator Tracy Storey.

Accessibility Information

  • The room for the conference, lunch, and the dinner venue, are all accessible to wheelchair users.
  • There are disabled toilets a short distance from the room, and the dinner venue also has a disabled toilet.
  • There will be a short break between each session and the Q&A.
  • The registration fee will be waived for personal assistants to disabled people.
  • We can provide sign-language interpretation, though we will need to know ASAP if it is required.
  • We cannot provide a hearing loop, but can provide a Roger Pen. We will need notice if it is required.
  • We can permit service animals to attend.
  • A nearby quiet room can be made available if required.
  • The venues will all have available seating.
  • We generally expect attendees to travel between venues by foot (500m to the dinner venue), but there is nearby parking to all venues, and taxis can be arranged.
  • We aim to accommodate all dietary requirements. Please state such needs when you register.

Further, we will ask all speakers to aim to make their presentations accessible.

For more details on anything, including accessibility information, please email the organiser, Dr. Alex Gregory or else the adminstrator Tracy Storey.