‘The Mirror in the Ground': Book launch and exhibition

11 Aug 2015 - 14:00

On Wednesday the 12th of August Reza Hosseini will be joining us in leading the 16th installment of the CCA’s Speaker Series. Reza Hosseini is a research fellow and a sessional lecturer at Rhodes University, South Africa and will be speaking about the relation between moral and non-moral values. His talk will be opened by Nkule Mabaso, curator of the ‘Earth Bound’ film series recently on view at the Michaelis Galleries.

Reza Hosseini on what he will be discussing:

A key feature of the literature on life’s meaning is raising awareness to the significance of non-moral values in our appraisal of a good life and, more importantly, pointing out that for too long moral values have been given too much over-riding weight, too much coercive force which are crowding out non-moral virtues and values. (Williams 1981, Frankfurt 2004, Wolf 2010, 2015, Metz 2013). The main task among these philosophers is to flesh out the idea that nonmoral values could be as overriding as moral values in both the course of actions we take and on our judgment of these actions. It would be problematic, and unfair, to assume that moral values should always have the upper hand and take absolute precedence over non-moral values. Specifically, a state of rivalry has been declared by Frankfurt and Wolf between moral and non-moral values. By focusing on Wolf’s The Variety of Values (2015), I argue that even though her emphasis on the role of non-moral values in the constitution of a good life is well-taken, the relationship between moral and non-moral values is not that of rivalry but often that of intertwinement. I argue that Wolf’s view ignores the fundamental ways one’s moral perspectives inform and even shape one’s non-moral perspectives. For example, Guernica is not merely an aesthetic representation of the state of war in nature. Instead, it is deeply informed and shaped by a resolute moral stance against the sufferings inflicted upon animals (humans included). Other examples will be discussed too.

The talk will be held at the Michaelis Lecture Theatre at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at 16h30.

See the poster for the event here.

Header image: Anna Zavileiskaia, The Camera and the Kid, Moscow, 1967

For further information, kindly contact Nancy Dantas at 021 480 7151 / nancy.dantas@uct.ac.za