True Grit: Striving in the Face of Adversity

Tue March 5th 2024, 5:30 - 6:45pm
Event Sponsor
McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society
Humanities Center
424 Santa Teresa Street, Stanford, CA 94305
Levinthal Hall
Experience Type

This free, public event will feature Professor Jennifer Morton on the notion of grit and when to push through adversity.

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It's common to set out on a challenging pursuit without knowing whether you will succeed. As we confront hurdles and setbacks, we face a crucial decision: give up, or persevere? Optimism about our chances can help us avoid giving into premature despair. But we argue that "grit"—striving in the face of adversity—can be rational only when it doesn't turn into Pollyannaish optimism. To strive rationally, we also need to pay close attention to our abilities and strengths, as well as to whether our circumstances will be conducive to our success. We develop a model of striving that aims to capture the multifaceted nature of this critical capacity of agents.

Professor Jennifer Morton’s talk, “True Grit: Striving in the Face of Adversity,” explores the notion of grit and when to push through adversity. She will be in conversation with Stanford undergraduate student, Cameron Lange.

This event is sponsored by the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society.

Please note that this event is in-person only, and RSVPs are requested to attend. Walk-ins are welcome.

Speaker Bios:

Jennifer M. Morton is the Presidential Penn Compact Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a 2023-24 SAGE Sara Miller McCune Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. Morton is interested in how poverty and social class affect our agency. She is currently working on a book on striving in the face of adversity with Sarah Paul (NYU Abu Dhabi) and a series of papers on precarity and poverty. Her book Moving Up Without Losing Your Way: The Ethical Costs of Upward Mobility (Princeton University Press, 2019) was awarded the Grawemeyer Award in Education and the Frederic W. Ness Book Award by the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Cameron Lange (she/her) is a Stanford senior double-majoring in philosophy and political science. She is currently earning Interdisciplinary Honors at the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society, where she is writing a thesis about youth voting rights.

This event will have a photographer present to document the event. By RSVPing, you consent for your image to be used for Center-related promotions and platforms. If you have any questions, please contact ethics-center [at] (ethics-center[at]stanford[dot]edu).

If you require disability-related accommodation, please contact disability.access [at] (disability[dot]access[at]stanford[dot]edu) as soon as possible or at least 7 business days in advance of the event.

Learn more about the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society.