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Andrew Peet: Holding On to Grief

Time Wednesday 25 January, 2023 at 13:15 - 15:00
Place Online in Zoom

The Research Seminar Series in Philosophy invites you to a seminar with Andrew Peet, Leeds, "Holding On to Grief". Co-author to the seminar text is Eli Pitcovski.


Consider the following argument:

1. The loss of a loved one is a reason for grief.

2. One’s loss doesn’t cease to be a reason for grief after a certain period of grieving.

3. As long as one retains knowledge of an undefeated reason for grief, then it is appropriate to experience grief.

4. So, as long as one retains knowledge of one’s loss, it is appropriate to experience grief indefinitely.

This argument initially appears compelling. Yet, grief often passes surprisingly quickly following the loss of a loved one, and rarely continues indefinitely. If the above argument is sound this suggests that our typical grieving practices manifest a failure to respond properly to our reasons.

The standard response to this puzzle is to reject premise (2). That is, the standard suggestion is that the loss of a loved one eventually ceases to constitute a reason for grief. We reject this approach and advocate an alternative according to which our typical patterns of grief are, for lack of a better word, rationalized by the norms governing attention.

All interested are welcome to participate in this seminar.

About the seminar series

Learn more about the seminar series in Philosophy and upcoming events

Event type: Seminar
Pär Sundström
Read about Pär Sundström