The Individual Goods of Attention and How to Distribute Them

The Individual Goods of Attention and How to Distribute Them
Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

We live in an age where attention is a central commodity – where social media companies like TikTok and Facebook take this attention as a product to be sold to interested buyers, and where attention is inextricably tied up with knowledge work (such as that of programmers, architects, and academics). While the economics and psychology of attention are well-explored, philosophers have only recently started thinking systematically about the ethics and political philosophy of attention. In this talk, I hope to contribute to this project: first, I argue that there are two distinct goods associated with attention – what I call attentional resources and attentional receipts – which have quite different normative profiles. Secondly, I argue from the nature of these goods to the appropriate rules for distributing them – a libertarian rule and a sufficientarian-plus-desert rule respectively – and trace out some normative implications for real-world cases.

Date & time

Tue 25 Apr 2023, 3:00pm to 4:30pm


RSSS Building, Room 6.71


Shang Long Yeo

Event series


Theo Murray


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