Friday, December 30, 2016

argumente ab homine

 pretty poison
The 2016 elections gave thoughtful Americans plenty of reasons to despair about the state of our democracy. The looming Donald Trump presidency has forced us to confront ugly truths about racism, misogyny and economic inequality. But according to a new paper published in the prestigious academic journal “Philosophy & Public Affairs,” there is at least one more heretofore undetected poison floating in the cocktail that is our politics. If the philosophers behind the paper are right, this problem is amplifying every other malady afflicting American culture.

They call it “moral grandstanding.”

“Moral grandstanding is the use of moral talk for self-promotion,” says Justin Tosi, a postdoctoral fellow in the University of Michigan’s philosophy department. “It’s people using moral conversation, making moral claims, to present an impressive image of themselves to others.”
"prestigious academic journal"

Moral Grandstanding [™®© etc.]
Our basic contention is that one grandstands when one makes a contribution to public moral discourse that aims to convince others that one is “morally respectable.” By this we mean that grandstanding is a use of moral talk that attempts to get others to make certain desired judgments about oneself, namely, that one is worthy of respect or admiration because one has some particular moral quality—for example, an impressive commitment to justice, a highly tuned moral sensibility, or unparalleled powers of empathy. To grandstand is to turn one's contribution to public discourse into a vanity project.
"To grandstand is to turn one's contribution to public discourse into a vanity project."

I will resist naming the professional philosophers who should read this.

The philosophical divisions between written and spoken, between propositional and expressive, and then the discovery[!] of subtext, of the possibility of pomposity, the existence of narcissism.

Pretentious, Moi?

"Our attitudes to artworks are much more unpredictable and surprising than a lot of social theories allow for."

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