Guest article by Eraldo Souza dos Santos
Attention has been a subject of philosophical interest for a long time. In contrast to the ever-growing literature on the epistemology and the ethics of attention, much less has been said, however, about its political aspects. Can a political community or a political institution pay attention? Can attention be said to contribute to the exercise of political faculties such as judgment? Or would attention be a political faculty itself? What is, or should be, the role of attention in politics? The papers presented in the workshop “The Politics of Attention” at the University of Fribourg (30 June – 1 July 2021) helped shed light on these questions. Organized by two members of the Aesthetics and Ethics of Attention SNSF Research Project (University of Fribourg), Isabel Kaeslin and Maude Ouellette-Dubé, the workshop delved into the key role of attention in political life.
Zeynep Pamuk (University of California, San Diego), for example, explored the politics of scientific attention by shedding light on the political dynamics that lead the scientific community to pay attention to specific problems and questions in detriment to others. Layla Raïd (University of Picardie Jules Verne), in her turn, discussed the role of attention in feminist politics and care ethics. Isabel Kaeslin (University of Fribourg) sought to show that collectives can pay attention in a virtuous way: by actively and vigilantly seeking out the “not-yet-recognized and not-yet-conceptualized” perspectives of the members of marginalized communities. For Kaeslin, “open-minded vigilance” is, in this regard, one of the key virtues of virtuous collectives.What Is Political About Political Attention? Report on the Workshop “The Politics of Attention” (University of Fribourg, June 30th – July 1st, 2021) weiterlesen