Program Details

The Value of Anger: A Philosophical Guide to Anger Management - Boca Raton

Steven Gubka

Course Description

One popular view of anger says that it is counterproductive: we are more likely to communicate persuasively if we avoid feeling or expressing anger, and less likely to act destructively in pursuit of revenge against the target of our anger. If we take this view seriously, we may moderate or extinguish our anger, perhaps in the ways suggested by the stoic philosopher Seneca. But is it fair for others to ask us to give up our anger? And what do we risk losing when we do? In this presentation, we will explore recent arguments from philosophers that people who are wronged have a right to their anger, and that anger is useful in pursuing justice for oneself (and not necessarily revenge). Gubka will present his research arguing that our understanding of ourselves, including what is valuable to us, depends on our anger. One surprising and provocative upshot of this research is that we have a reason to promote anger in ourselves and others rather than to reduce or moderate that anger. Handouts and a Powerpoint will enhance this presentation. Space is limited.

About the Instructor

  • Steven Gubka, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow at FAU’s Center for the Future Mind. Gubka earned his doctorate degree in philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. His doctoral research focused on the normative significance of emotion and emotion regulation. Prior to that, he earned a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Oxford and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Arizona (with a minor in cognitive science). Gubka is currently investigating the ethics of virtual actions, how social media influences our emotions, and the moral agency of artificial intelligence. He is also interested in how emerging technology, such as emotion detection by artificial intelligence via facial expressions, affects the regulation of our emotions.