‘The Arithmetic of Compassion’: Rethinking the Politics of Photography

  title={‘The Arithmetic of Compassion’: Rethinking the Politics of Photography},
  author={James Turner Johnson},
  journal={British Journal of Political Science},
  pages={621 - 643}
  • J. Johnson
  • Published 6 January 2011
  • Art
  • British Journal of Political Science
Compassion, theorists from Arendt to Nussbaum suggest, carries an ineluctable pressure to identify with individual suffering. The very idea of a politics of compassion verges on incoherence. Politics typically demands attention to the aggregate and it is just there that compassion falters. This is a problem for critics addressing the politics of photography, who typically presume that the point of photographs must be to elicit compassion among viewers. But a proper understanding of compassion… 
1 Citations
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