Moral outrage porn

Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 18 (2):147-72 (2020)
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Abstract

We offer an account of the generic use of the term “porn”, as seen in recent usages such as “food porn” and “real estate porn”. We offer a definition adapted from earlier accounts of sexual pornography. On our account, a representation is used as generic porn when it is engaged with primarily for the sake of a gratifying reaction, freed from the usual costs and consequences of engaging with the represented content. We demonstrate the usefulness of the concept of generic porn by using it to isolate a new type of such porn: moral outrage porn. Moral outrage porn is representations of moral outrage, engaged with primarily for the sake of the resulting gratification, freed from the usual costs and consequences of engaging with morally outrageous content. Moral outrage porn is dangerous because it encourages the instrumentalization of one’s empirical and moral beliefs, manipulating their content for the sake of gratification. Finally, we suggest that when using porn is wrong, it is often wrong because it instrumentalizes what ought not to be instrumentalized.

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Author Profiles

C. Thi Nguyen
University of Utah
Bekka Williams
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Citations of this work

Hostile Epistemology.C. Thi Nguyen - 2023 - Social Philosophy Today 39:9-32.
How Twitter gamifies communication.C. Thi Nguyen - 2021 - In Jennifer Lackey (ed.), Applied Epistemology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 410-436.
Playfulness versus epistemic traps.C. Thi Nguyen - 2022 - In Mark Alfano, Jeroen De Ridder & Colin Klein (eds.), Social Virtue Epistemology. Routledge.
Immoral Artists.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2023 - In James Harold (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Ethics and Art. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Was it Polarization or Propaganda?C. Thi Nguyen - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Research 46:173-191.

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References found in this work

Echo chambers and epistemic bubbles.C. Thi Nguyen - 2020 - Episteme 17 (2):141-161.
The Wrong Kind of Reason.Pamela Hieronymi - 2005 - Journal of Philosophy 102 (9):437 - 457.
Moral Grandstanding.Justin Tosi & Brandon Warmke - 2016 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 44 (3):197-217.
The Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):55.

View all 16 references / Add more references