Webcast Q&A: Sunday, 27 February 2011, Question 3
In the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on 27 February 2011, I answered a question on being sentimental.
Is it moral to be sentimental? Some dictionaries define sentiment as an attitude based on emotion rather than reason. Is this accurate? Would it then be moral or rational to be sentimental? For example, would it be moral or rational to: (1) Hold on to your favorite childhood toys when you are an adult (assuming you have the space for them), even if they don't carry the same meaning for you now but they bring about good memories and feelings? (2) Keep old love letters or pictures of friends that you are not on speaking terms with (but were, at one time, good friends with) because they remind you of "the good times"?
My Answer, In Brief: To be sentimental is to be "of or prompted by feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia." That can be rational or not, depending on the particulars. To live in the past or to romanticize the past is wrong. But reflections on and mementos of past achievements and experiences is part of what makes a person's life an integrated sum, rather than just a series of moments. And that's good!
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- Duration: 5:32
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I'm Dr. Diana Hsieh. I'm a philosopher specializing the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My dissertation defended moral responsibility and moral judgment against the doubts raised by Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck."
My radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer four meaty questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Wednesday evenings, I interview an expert guest about a topic of practical importance.
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