A history of the pedagogy of voluntary attention: exploring the epistemological potential of the pathological

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Abstract

The article explores the pedagogical recommendations within late nineteenth century psychological literature on voluntary attention, focusing on what was then understood as pathological conditions of attention. The purpose of the article is double. First, to investigate the reasoning embedded in the educational exercises with which to capture and retain the attention of students. What is the link between the educational practices of the late nineteenth century and the psychological interest in the concept of attention within this time period? And second, to explore the epistemological and methodological power of the pathological. Is it possible to examine the concept of attention through a focus on its pathological forms? The article demonstrates how the pedagogical recommendations embedded in the late nineteenth century psychological literature on attention aim to develop disinterested citizens and observers of attention.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology
Volume36
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)158-174
ISSN1068-8471
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1. Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Historical epistemology
  • Inattention
  • Patho-epistemology
  • Psychology of education
  • Voluntary attention

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