Theoretical Philosophy Work in Progress Seminar Week 6 MT17

Theoretical Philosophy

Speaker: Hili Razinsky (Lisbon)

Title: 'Ambivalence' 


Ambivalence characterises a person as having two opposing attitudes: she maintains both and each is maintained by her as standing in conflict with the other. An ambivalent person may want and yet not want one and the same thing, love and hate the same person, find a job offer fair and yet unfair, or ambivalently believe and disbelieve that her spouse is cheating on her. Ambivalence is an ordinary and pervasive phenomenon of our life and language, and yet it is denied or marginalized by a wide variety of entrenched philosophical conceptions. My book Ambivalence: A Philosophical Exploration strongly disagrees. Analysing this variegated phenomenon (which figures also at social, political, cultural, and scientific levels), I argue that ambivalence is constitutively rational, and often highly so, as well as central to the understanding of subjectivity, consciousness, agency, concepts and value. In the talk we’ll retrace some of the problems and consider some aspects of my positive investigation.


Convenors: Stephen Wright