Moral Grandstanding

Philosophy and Public Affairs 44 (3):197-217 (2016)

Brandon Warmke
Bowling Green State University
Justin Tosi
Texas Tech University
Moral grandstanding is a pervasive feature of public discourse. Many of us can likely recognize that we have engaged in grandstanding at one time or another. While there is nothing new about the phenomenon of grandstanding, we think that it has not received the philosophical attention it deserves. In this essay, we provide an account of moral grandstanding as the use of public discourse for moral self-promotion. We then show that our account, with support from some standard theses of social psychology, explains the characteristic ways that grandstanding is manifested in public moral discourse. We conclude by arguing that there are good reasons to think that moral grandstanding is typically morally bad and should be avoided.
Keywords public discourse  deliberation  social morality  polarization  group dynamics  moralizing  bullshit  social media  signaling  social comparison
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DOI 10.1111/papa.12075
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References found in this work BETA

The Law of Group Polarization.Cass Sunstein - 2002 - Journal of Political Philosophy 10 (2):175–195.
The Nicomachean Ethics.Lesley Brown (ed.) - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
On Bullshit.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1986 - Princeton University Press.
The Moral Point of View: A Rational Basis of Ethics.Kurt BAIER - 1958 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Second-Hand Moral Knowledge.Karen Jones - 1999 - Journal of Philosophy 96 (2):55-78.

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The Limitations of the Open Mind.Jeremy Fantl - 2018 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

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