Reframing Our World: Examining the Crisis of Crises



Crisis Rhetoric, Economy of Attention, Heuristics and Biases


A perceived crisis demands immediate attention. Increasingly, this response is being exploited by news media to secure an audience. However, the instrumentalisation of crisis rhetoric is not merely a benign symptom of a competitive media landscape–it is also a cause of significant, problematic outcomes. Specifically, the fight or flight response activated by crisis rhetoric hijacks cognition, precluding detached rational appraisal of the relevant data. I call this the ‘crisis of crises’: the overuse of crisis rhetoric undermines our ability to effectively engage with actual crises, leading us to either ignore or mis-frame many serious issues. Using the system 1/system 2 model of cognition as a framework this paper will examine the ‘crisis of crises’, its origins, outcomes and potential remedies.

Author Biography

Colum Finnegan, Department of Philosophy, UCC

Colum Finnegan is a PhD researcher at University College Cork. His PhD work takes as its starting point the interaction between externalist philosophy of mind and emerging technology. His current research interests include the emergence and role of norms, contemporary receptions of technology, 4E cognition and cultural evolution.