What's wrong with virtue signaling?

Synthese (forthcoming)
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Abstract

A novel account of virtue signaling and what makes it bad has recently been offered by Justin Tosi and Brandon Warmke. Despite plausibly vindicating the folk’s conception of virtue signaling as a bad thing, their account has recently been attacked by both Neil Levy and Evan Westra. According to Levy and Westra, virtue signaling actually supports the aims and progress of public moral discourse. In this paper, we rebut these recent defenses of virtue signaling. We suggest that virtue signaling only supports the aims of public moral discourse to the extent it is an instance of a more general phenomenon that we call norm signaling. We then argue that, if anything, virtue signaling will undermine the quality of public moral discourse by undermining the evidence we typically rely on from the testimony and norm signaling of others. Thus, we conclude, not only is virtue signaling not needed, but its epistemological effects warrant its bad reputation.

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Author Profiles

Jesse Hill
Lingnan University
James Fanciullo
Lingnan University

Citations of this work

Transparency as morally and politically corrupting.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - 2024 - Asian Journal of Philosophy 3 (2):1-16.

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