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How to Think Philosophically about Regret and Failure

July 20, 2021 at 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm BST

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Debut host John Danaher leads a discussion on how philosophy can be applied to our everyday regrets and failures.

We all have failures; we all have regrets. How can we live with them? Is it rational to ‘minimise regret’? Do we over-ascribe failure to our own lives?

This Salon will explore these questions and more, considering in particular how philosophical reasoning and insight can help us to develop a more rational attitude toward regret and failure. We will consider the important conceptual distinction between regret and failure and how we often confuse the two things. We will examine the idea that life is a series of branching possibilities and how as a result of this mental model we often, irrationally, lament the roads not taken.

We will also consider some psychological research on regret and failure and whether we can learn how to live better by studying the regrets that people have on their deathbeds.


Recommended reading: 

[Note: the first three pieces were written by the host and encapsulate some of his thinking on these questions]


Optional (longer – academic):



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July 20, 2021
7:30 pm - 10:30 pm BST
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