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The Ethics of Desire

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The Ethics Centre

Level 1 Legion House

161 Castlereagh Street

Sydney, NSW 2000

Australia

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Put simply, desire is the strong feeling of wanting or wishing for something. We desire people, objects, experiences and outcomes. It motivates, inspires and drives.

Freudian thought holds it operates at the deep level of our unconscious minds, revealing its true self in our behaviours, dreams and slips of the tongue. Kant argued we’d reach a state of bliss without it.

Philosophical and religious systems like Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism suggest it be tamed or repressed. But as Man Booker Prize winner DBC Pierre notes, “Ambition as a positive trait” is “a recent idea”.

This shift in thinking seems to be reflected in our stories. They no longer centre on tragic heroes like Macbeth with his vaulting ambition. Look around a bookstore and note the abundant biographies on characters with virtuous, tenacious desires to succeed at a dream or overcome adversity.

Today we are encouraged to openly fight for what we yearn for in pursuit of some sort authentic self and moral path. This is the new bliss, Kant.

Yet we know the kind hearted aren’t immune to wishing misfortune fall upon others. And we watch the best among us give in to those dangerous things we really want time after time, despite dire consequences.

If the psychoanalysts are right, how do we commandeer deep, driving desires we are not even aware of? Can we flex our ethical muscles and restrain dark desires, or are we destined to be hopeless victims of what we really want?

Speakers

We invite guests with different ideas, political views, professions, ages and backgrounds. Line-ups will be announced closer to the talk. It's going to be an entertaining and engaging evening.

Upcoming 'The Ethics Of...' events you might enjoy

Ethics of Lying: http://bit.ly/EthicsOfLying
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Ethics of Nudity (18+): http://bit.ly/EthicsOfNudity

About 'The Ethics Of...' Series

‘The Ethics Of…’ is an intimate event series that delves into the minds of various experts to examine the experiences, hopes and challenges that make us truly human.


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Date and Time

Location

The Ethics Centre

Level 1 Legion House

161 Castlereagh Street

Sydney, NSW 2000

Australia

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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