presented by THE PHILOSOPHY DEPARTMENT COLLOQUIUM SERIES
2:30 p.m. (HST) November 5, 2021
Presented by Dr. Sean M. Smith
University of Hawaiʻi
In this talk I present an argument that the pervasiveness of affective bias on our conscious attention makes our attention normatively accessible in various ways. My view is inspired by Buddhaghosa (5th-6th CE), a South-Asian Buddhist scholar monk whose commentarial works in Pāli form the backbone of Theravāda Buddhism. This paper addresses how attention is dealt with normatively in Buddhaghosa’s thinking; specifically, I will analyze how wholesome forms of empathetic attention can go wrong. The thesis of this paper is that our embodied first-person perspective on our environment is massively affectively biased and our attention is normatively assessable in various ways in light of this bias.