ESDiT online seminar - Yves Citton and Enrico Campo - From the Attention Economy to a Politics of Curiosity - Wednesday, September 20, 2023 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
ESDiT online seminar series
on "Attending as practice in the attention economy"
From the Attention Economy to a Politics of Curiosity
Yves Citton and Enrico Campo
Wednesday, September 20, 2023 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Interested in attending? Please write to
Secretariat.P&E@tue.nl if you want to
participate in this session (or others; see below).
Description: While studies devoted to the attention economy have proliferated
since the 1970s, exploding after 1995, very few scholarly work had been
devoted to curiosity until the mid-2010s. This presentation will attempt to
resituate the attention economy within a triangulation evaluating the related
powers and dangers of Attention, Distraction and Curiosity. Within such a
triangulation, it will sketch what a politics of curiosity could look like
within the current Capitalocene crisis.
Enrico Campo is Research Fellow in Sociology at the Department of Philosophy
at the University of Milan (Italy). His main research interests are in the
field of social theory, sociology of knowledge and in particular in the study
of the relation between culture, technology, and cognition. He is author of
Attention and its Crisis in Digital Society (Routledge 2022).
Yves Citton is professor in Literature and Media at the Universit Paris 8
Vincennes-Saint Denis and co-editor of the journal Multitudes, and recently
published Altermodernits des Lumires (Seuil, 2022), Faire avec. Conflits,
coalitions, contagions (Les Liens qui Librent, 2021), Gnrations
collapsonautes (Seuil, 2020, in collaboration with Jacopo Rasmi), Mediarchy
(Polity Press, 2019), Contre-courants politiques (Fayard, 2018), The Ecology
of Attention (Polity Press, 2016). His articles are in open access on his
Aim: The online series aims to contribute, using philosophy and ethics, to
constructively critique the attention economy (the tech industry's business
model that treats human attention as a commodifiable resource).
The upcoming sessions will be:
Wednesday, September 20, 2023 1:30 PM-3:00 PM CET
Yves Citton and Enrico
From the Attention Economy to a Politics of Curiosity
Wednesday, October 11, 2023 2:00 PM-3:30 PM CET
The co-shaping of attention and technologies
Tuesday, October 31, 2023 4:00 PM-5:30 PM
Attention Span: A Groundbreaking Way to Restore Balance, Happiness and
Tuesday, December 12, 2023 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Cor van de Weele
How can attention seeking be good
Friday, January 12, 2024 4:00 PM-5:30 PM
Loving Attention: Buddhaghosa, Katsuki Sekida, and Iris Murdoch on Meditation
and Moral Development
We are looking forward discussing this with you.
Gunter Bombaerts, Alessio Gerola, Andreas Spahn, Anna Puzio, Jeroen Hopster,
Joseph Sta. Maria
Madelaine Ley, Lavinia Marin, Lily Frank, Madelaine Ley, Matthew Dennis, Tom
Last year's sessions
Check the recordings of the session at the ESDiT website
Intelligent Technology, the Attention Economy, and the Risks of Consciousness
Hacking: A Buddhist Perspective
Silvia Caprioglio Panizza
Grounding ethics through attention: Murdoch, Weil, and Zen Buddhism
Toward an Ethics of Attention.
Just Perceive: How Phenomenology and the Arts Can Guide Us in the Tech Era.
And Katharine Naomi Whitfield Browne
The Commodification of Attention. An analysis and ethical assessment.
The attention of ethics.
Repurposing Persuasive Technologies for Digital Well-Being.
The "attention economy" refers to the tech industry's business model that
treats human attention as a commodifiable resource. The libertarian critique
of this model, dominant within tech and philosophical communities, claims that
the persuasive technologies of the attention economy infringe on the
individual user's autonomy and therefore the proposed solutions focus on
safeguarding personal freedom through expanding individual control.
While this push back is important, it uncritically accepts the framing of
attention as a scarce commodity, giving rise to incomplete assessments of the
moral significance of attention, and obscuring richer sets of ethical
strategies to cope with the challenges of the attention economy.
We step away from a negative analysis in terms of external distractions and
aim for positive answers, by approaching attention as practice.
The series engages with speakers from all kinds of backgrounds (philosophy on
authors like Iris Murdoch, Martha Nussbaum, Simone Weil, Merleau-Ponty, Harry
Frankfurt, or Buddhist ethics ...; psychology; artificial intelligence; ...).
Questions that will be central in the online series:
1-What do attention and related concepts mean in the "attention economy"?
2-How is attention a basis for or related to morality?
3-How can attention (and related concepts) be built in the design of the
attention economy in a humane way?
To answer this last question, we think the philosophical debate should turn
from a negative to a positive focus:
From "What are the distractions?" to "How can wisdom practices, virtues,
... support a desirable form of attention?";
From "I must take back control of my attention" to "How can we use
attention for flourishing, wisdom, ...?";
From reacting against "promising (false?) free comfort" to supporting
"acceptance of necessary effort"; and
From "increasing individual needs in the attention economy" to support
"collective or intentional joint attention in the attention ecology".