Boredom, Objectivity and the Picture of Solidarity
In this talk, I will propose that objectivity is only accessible in a state of boredom, and that boredom is an experience that is much rarer than we regularly suppose it to be. One consequence of this claim will be to add ballast, in temporal terms, to Richard Rorty’s well known contention that solidarity is a more reliable way of accessing agreement in the social, and for the sake of social change, than is any appeal we might make to objectivity. Yet, in my account, what follows or interrupts boredom are acts of picturing—attempts to feature for ourselves a different way of relating to what appears to us in the rare instant of boredom, and that divide us from each other just as much as unite us. At issue, then, will be the extent to which acts of picturing—described as a particular way of thinking and of regarding thought in relation to the failure of objectivity—produce an imaginative density across perceivers that might inhibit solidarity by virtue of the same procedures that compel it. At the heart of my discussion will be a little-seen film, Sleeping Dogs Lie (2006, d. Bobcat Golthwaite).
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University of Toronto
Wed, Jan 30, 2019
12:30 PM - 02:00 PM
Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto