Lauener Foundation for Analytical Philosophy
Thursday 25 August - Friday 26 August 2022
Haus der Universität, Bern, Switzerland
9th International Lauener Symposium on Analytical Philosophy
on Themes from Susan Wolf
Dr. Verena Wagner
Loving Attention and Willful Ignorance
Susan Wolf (2014) argues that ‘loving attention’ is a moral ideal which “tells us to lovingly attend to everyone, without telling us especially to love each of them” (p. 382). In this talk, I will follow her lead and take loving attention as an active effort on part of the agent that does not necessarily result in one’s love for the attended object. Loving attention can be seen as a charitable form of inquiry with the aim of understanding the attended object on its own terms. The moral ideal is to gain knowledge about a person for the sake of judging them justly. I will suggest that the current epistemological debate on suspension of judgment is helpful for explaining the mental effort it takes to accommodate this moral ideal.