Jan 15 Colloquia – Sarah Jansen: “Plato and Laughing at People”

Sarah Jansen (Carleton College) will be giving her talk on Friday, January 15, 2016 in BUCH A201 at 4pm.

TITLE:
Plato and Laughing at People

ABSTRACT:
In the paper I explore the dialogues’ engagement with the ethics of laughing at people, arguing that, for Plato, such laughter is central to the practice (or malpractice) of reasoned discourse. Through a new analysis of both the dialectic and drama of the dialogues (especially the Philebus), I argue that Plato distinguishes between bad and good laughing at people. The former is foolish and serious; its wicked and immoderate pleasures stifle inquiry and mire laughers in power plays and ignorance. The latter is wise and playful; its virtuous and moderate pleasures advance cooperative inquiry and our knowledge of our shared human limitations.

 

 

This event is free and open to the public, faculty, staff and students.