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Parr Center Presents: Adrienne Martin (Claremont McKenna College), “Against Mother’s Day: When Admiration and Gratitude Maintain Injustice”

April 18, 2023 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Adrienne Martin, a 2004 graduate of the Ph.D. program in Philosophy here at UNC-Chapel Hill, is the Akshata Murty ’02 and Rishi Sunak Professor of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Claremont McKenna College. She has also held the designation of George R. Roberts Fellow since 2021: the Roberts Faculty Leadership Initiative at Claremont McKenna supports outstanding teacher-scholars with reputations for strong, attentive relationships with students. Her book How We Hope: A Moral Psychology was published by Oxford University Press in 2014 and won Honorable Mention in the American Philosophical Association Book Prize. She is also the editor of The Routledge Handbook of Love in Philosophy and the author of important articles and book chapters in moral psychology. 
“Against Mother’s Day: When Admiration and Gratitude Maintain Injustice”

Gratitude gets good press. It is a central virtue in many religious and secular ethical frameworks, core in positive psychology research, and it comes highly recommended by the self-improvement set. Generally, gratitude features as a good thing in popular consciousness. Of course, on an Aristotelian model, the belief that gratitude is a virtue implies that it is something people can get right or wrong. This talk examines bad gratitude, characterizing the form of gratitude at the center of Mother’s Day marketing and traditions, and demonstrating that it masks familiar oppressive expectations and power relations.


April 18, 2023
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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