Moral Grandstanding

Philosophy and Public Affairs 44 (3):197-217 (2016)
Authors
Brandon Warmke
Bowling Green State University
Justin Tosi
Texas Tech University
Abstract
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  demagoguery  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 R. Sunstein - 2002 - Journal of Political Philosophy 10 (2):175–195.
On Bullshit.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1986 - Princeton University Press.
The Moral Point of View.Kurt Baier - 1958 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Second-Hand Moral Knowledge.Karen Jones - 1999 - Journal of Philosophy 96 (2):55-78.
The Nicomachean Ethics. Aristotle - 1951 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Commitment Account of Hypocrisy.Benjamin Rossi - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-15.
The Limitations of the Open Mind.Jeremy Fantl - 2018 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

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