Loving Attention: How can we live well in a distracted world?

anil gomes event

A roundtable discussion for postgraduates and early career researchers in philosophy, theology and related disciplines. Register here.

About this event

As we become increasingly aware of the problems of an attention economy and our own distractibility, we want to ask: What does it mean to pay attention? What is the value of attention? Where should it be placed and when?

Postgraduates and Early Career Researchers in philosophy, theology and related disciplines, are invited to join a round table discussion on the theme of attention.* Professor Anil Gomes will introduce the theme of attention in the work of Iris Murdoch after which we hope to make space for a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary conversation exploring the value of attention and the ways in which we might learn to pay attention to the world, including 'loving attention'.

A light brunch of pastries, fruit, tea and coffee will be provided at this free event.

* Those on career breaks from postgraduate study or research are also very welcome to attend.


This event is inspired by the life and work of Stella Aldwinckle and her good friend Iris Murdoch.

Aldwinckle was a graduate of St Anne’s college and the women’s chaplain of the Oxford Pastorate from the 1940s-1960s. Encouraged by women students at Somerville, Aldwinckle set up and chaired the University’s Socratic Club, inviting C S Lewis to stand as President. Over many years the great thinkers of the day came to debate philosophical and theological questions in an open and intellectually stimulating environment. Amongst them were Iris Murdoch, Elizabeth Anscombe and Dorothy L Sayers - who all studied at Somerville, the College we are delighted to use to hold this event.

We hope to celebrate these women and to emulate them in asking some of the big questions about what it means to live a good life.