Grace and Alienation

Time: 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm

Contact: Crystal · · 5048653940

Location: Whitney Presentation Room

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Vida Yao of Rice University for her presentation Grace and Alienation.


According to an attractive conception of love discussed by Iris Murdoch, one strives to see the beloved accurately and justly. A puzzle for understanding how to love another in this way emerges in cases where more accurate perception of the beloved only reveals his flaws and vices, and where the beloved, in awareness of this, strives to escape from the accurate gaze of others, including his loved ones. Though less attentive forms of love may be able to render coherent and justifiable one’s continued love in these cases, I argue that they risk further alienating the beloved, precisely because they are less attentive, and because of the operations of the beloved’s shame. I argue that attentive love is well-suited to alleviate this problem of alienation, but that it must be supplemented with grace. I propose a conception of grace as affectionate love for the qualities of human nature, distinguish this from love for the beloved’s humanity. I show how this complex emotion, in being responsive to the complexities of shame, is thereby able to alleviate the problem of alienation.

This event is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Philosophy Department, the Loyola Honors Program, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.