In this lecture, philosophy professor Justin White will discuss the Avatar: The Last Airbender character Zuko’s transformation to discuss the process and difficulty of deep personal change.
In Book Three, as Zuko seeks to leave behind the dominant ideals of the Fire Nation and join Team Avatar, he finds himself doing things that betray those aspirations. After accidentally burning Toph, he cries in frustration, “Why am I so bad at being good?" Zuko’s transformation illustrates the complex interplay between two dimensions of identity. This complexity can make possible transformative change, but it also helps explain the difficulty we can face as we work to change, to leave behind old ways of being and to acquire new ones.
Justin F. White is an associate professor of philosophy at Brigham Young University. His research focuses on 19th- and 20th-century European philosophy (especially Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty), philosophy of agency, and moral psychology. In addition to his contribution to Avatar: The Last Airbender and Philosophy, he has published work in Midwest Studies in Philosophy, The Southern Journal of Philosophy, European Journal of Philosophy, Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy, The Kierkegaardian Mind, Habit and the History of Philosophy, and The Routledge Handbook of Phenomenology of Agency.
Event Start: Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024 7:00pm
Event End: Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024 8:00pm
Event Location: Online Event
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