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  1. WTF?! Covid-19, Indignation, and the Internet.Lucy Osler - 2023 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-20.
    The Covid-19 pandemic has fuelled indignation. People have been indignant about the breaking of lockdown rules, about the mistakes and deficiencies of government pandemic policies, about enforced mask-wearing, about vaccination programmes (or lack thereof), about lack of care with regards vulnerable individuals, and more. Indeed, indignation seems to have been particularly prevalent on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, where indignant remarks are often accompanied by variations on the hashtag #WTF?! In this paper, I explore indignation’s distinctive character (...)
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  • Moral Criticism and Structural Injustice.Robin Zheng - 2021 - Mind 130 (518):503-535.
    Moral agency is limited, imperfect, and structurally constrained. This is evident in the many ways we all unwittingly participate in widespread injustice through our everyday actions, which I call ‘structural wrongs’. To do justice to these facts, I argue that we should distinguish between summative and formative moral criticism. While summative criticism functions to conclusively assess an agent's performance relative to some benchmark, formative criticism aims only to improve performance in an ongoing way. I show that the negative sanctions associated (...)
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  • The Emotional Dog Was a Glauconian Canine: The Reception of the Social Intuitionist Model, From the Neurocentric Paradigm to the Digital Paradigm.Pedro Jesús Pérez Zafrilla - 2022 - Revista de Humanidades de Valparaíso 19:63-83.
    In this article I analyze the academic reception of Jonathan Haidt’s seminal article _The emotional dog and its rational tail: A social intuitionist approach to moral judgment_. My thesis is that in the spheres of philosophy and psychology, this article was initially studied within the neurocentric paradigm, which dominated the field of scientific reflection in the fifteen years following its publication. This neurocentric reading established a specific interpretation of the text with several limitations. However, more recently a digital paradigm has (...)
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  • Institutional Responsibility and Aesthetic Value: Commentary on Erich Hatala Matthes’s Drawing The Line: What to Do with the Work of Immoral Artists from Museums to the Movies.Mary Beth Willard - 2022 - British Journal of Aesthetics 62 (4):539-548.
    Erich Hatala Matthes’s (2021)Drawing the Line is about what we ought to do when we discover that an artist whom we love has committed a great moral wrong. As it turns out, Matthes and I agree almost entirely on the moral obligations of the individual consumer. We both agree that it is necessary to ascertain whether the life of the artist affects the aesthetic quality of their work, and that we should attend to how continuing to engage with their work (...)
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  • Virtue Signalling to Signal Trustworthiness, Avoid Distrust, and Scaffold Self-Trust.William Tuckwell - forthcoming - Social Epistemology.
    ABSTRACT Justin Tosi and Brandon Warmke argue that virtue signalling – saying things in order to improve or protect your moral reputation – has a range of bad consequences and that as such there is a strong moral presumption against engaging in it. I argue that virtue signalling also has a range of good consequences, and that as such there is no default presumption either for or against engaging in it. Following from this, I argue that given that virtue signalling (...)
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  • Moral grandstanding as a threat to free expression.Justin Tosi & Brandon Warmke - 2020 - Social Philosophy and Policy 37 (2):170-189.
    Moral grandstanding, or the use of moral talk for self-promotion, is a threat to free expression. When grandstanding is introduced in a public forum, several ideals of free expression are less likely to be realized. Popular views are less likely to be challenged, people are less free to entertain heterodox ideas, and the cost of changing one’s mind goes up.
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  • Why disregarding hypocritical blame is appropriate.Daniel Statman - forthcoming - Ratio.
    The topic of standing to blame has recently received a lot of attention. Until now, however, it has focused mainly on the blamer's perspective, investigating what it means to say of blamers that they lose standing to blame and why it is that they lose this standing under specified conditions. The present paper focuses on the perspective of the blamees and tries to explain why they are allowed to disregard standingless, more specifically hypocritical, blame. According to the solution proposed by (...)
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  • Moral torch fishing: A signaling theory of blame.David Shoemaker & Manuel Vargas - 2019 - Noûs:online.
    It is notable that all of the leading theories of blame have to employ ungainly fixes to deflect one or more apparent counterexamples. What these theories share is a content‐based theory of blame's nature. Such approaches overlook or ignore blame's core unifying feature, namely, its function, which is to signal the blamer's commitment to a set of norms. In this paper, we present the problems with the extant theories and then explain what signaling is, how it functions in blame, why (...)
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  • The Commitment Account of Hypocrisy.Benjamin Rossi - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (3):553-567.
    Hypocrisy is widely thought to be morally objectionable in a way that undermines the hypocrite’s moral standing to blame others. To wit, we seem to intuitively accept the “Nonhypocrisy Condition:” R has the standing to blame S for some violation of a moral norm N only if R’s blaming S is not hypocritical. This claim has been the subject of intensifying philosophical investigation in recent years. However, we can only understand why hypocrisy is morally objectionable and has an effect on (...)
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  • How to Take Offense: Responding to Microaggression.Regina Rini - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (3):332-351.
    A microaggression is a small insulting act made disproportionately harmful by its part in an oppressive pattern of similar insults. How should you respond when made the victim of a microaggression? In this paper I survey several morally salient factors, including effects upon victims, perpetrators, and third parties. I argue, contrary to popular views, that ‘growing a thicker skin’ is not good advice nor is expressing reasonable anger always the best way to contribute to confronting oppression. Instead, appropriately responding to (...)
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  • Easy for You to Say.Maggie O’Brien - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (3):429-442.
    ABSTRACT This paper argues that the retort ‘easy for you to say’ is a complaint about the target’s standing, but that it invokes a standing norm that is unjustified. Moreover, I argue that in many cases the person for whom it is ‘easy to say’ should speak.
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  • Was it Polarization or Propaganda? [REVIEW]C. Thi Nguyen - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Research 46:173-191.
    According to some, the current political fracture is best described as political polarization – where extremism and political separation infest an entire whole population. Political polarization accounts often point to the psychological phenomenon of belief polarization – where being in a like-minded groups tends to boost confidence. The political polarization story is an essentially symmetrical one, where both sides are subject to the same basic dividing forces and cognitive biases, and are approximately as blame-worthy. On a very different account, what's (...)
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  • Moral outrage porn.C. Thi Nguyen & Bekka Williams - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 18 (2):147-72.
    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 (...)
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  • Fame and Redemption: On the Moral Dangers of Celebrity Apologies.Benjamin Matheson - forthcoming - Journal of Social Philosophy.
    In this paper, I first consider three possible explanations for why celebrities typically apologise publicly and sometimes also include their fans among the targets of their apology. I then identify three moral dangers of celebrity apologies, the third of which arises specifically for fan-targeted apologies, and each of which teaches us important lessons about the practice of celebrity apologies. From these individual lessons, I draw more general lessons about apologies from those with elevated social positions and the powers they are (...)
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  • Appraisal of the Fairness Moral Foundation Predicts the Language Use Involving Moral Issues on Twitter Among Japanese.Akiko Matsuo, Baofa Du & Kazutoshi Sasahara - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
    Moral appraisals are found to be associated with a person’s individual differences (e.g., political ideology), and the effects of individual differences on language use have been studied within the framework of the Moral Foundations Theory (MFT). However, the relationship between one’s moral concern and the use of language involving morality on social media is not self-evident. The present exploratory study investigated that relationship using the MFT. Participants’ tweets and self-reported responses to the questionnaire were collected to measure the degree of (...)
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  • Moral Deference, Moral Assertion, and Pragmatics.Max Lewis - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (1):5-22.
    In this paper, I offer a novel defense of moderate pessimism about moral deference, i.e., the view that we have pro tanto reason to avoid moral deference. I argue that moral deference fails to give us the epistemic credentials to satisfy plausible norms of moral assertion. I then argue that moral assertions made solely on the basis of deferential moral beliefs violate a plausible epistemic and moral norm against withholding information that one knows, has evidence, or ought to believe will (...)
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  • Virtue signalling is virtuous.Neil Levy - 2021 - Synthese 198 (10):9545-9562.
    The accusation of virtue signalling is typically understood as a serious charge. Those accused usually respond by attempting to show that they are doing no such thing. In this paper, I argue that we ought to embrace the charge, rather than angrily reject it. I argue that this response can draw support from cognitive science, on the one hand, and from social epistemology on the other. I claim that we may appropriately concede that what we are doing is virtue signalling, (...)
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  • Moral Diversity and Moral Responsibility.Brian Kogelmann & Robert H. Wallace - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (3):371-389.
    In large, impersonal moral orders many of us wish to maintain good will toward our fellow citizens only if we are reasonably sure they will maintain good will toward us. The mutual maintaining of good will, then, requires that we somehow communicate our intentions to one another. But how do we actually do this? The current paper argues that when we engage in moral responsibility practices—that is, when we express our reactive attitudes by blaming, praising, and resenting—we communicate a desire (...)
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  • Extremists are more confident.Nora Heinzelmann & Viet Tran - 2022 - Erkenntnis.
    Metacognitive mental states are mental states about mental states. For example, I may be uncertain whether my belief is correct. In social discourse, an interlocutor’s metacognitive certainty may constitute evidence about the reliability of their testimony. For example, if a speaker is certain that their belief is correct, then we may take this as evidence in favour of their belief, or its content. This paper argues that, if metacognitive certainty is genuine evidence, then it is disproportionate evidence for extreme beliefs. (...)
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  • Argumentative Bullshit.José Ángel Gascón - 2021 - Informal Logic 42 (4):289-308.
    Harry Frankfurt characterised bullshit as assertions that are made without a concern for truth. Assertions, however, are not the only type of speech act that can be bullshit. Here, I propose the concept of argumentative bullshit and show how a speech acts account of bullshit assertions can be generalised to bullshit arguments. Argumentative bullshit, on this account, would be the production of an argument without a concern for the supporting relation between reasons and claim.
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  • The Problem of Public Shaming.Harrison Frye - 2022 - Journal of Political Philosophy 30 (2):188-208.
    Journal of Political Philosophy, Volume 30, Issue 2, Page 188-208, June 2022.
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  • The Technology of Public Shaming.Harrison Frye - 2021 - Social Philosophy and Policy 38 (2):128-145.
    This essay argues that online public shaming can be productively understood as a problem of technology. In particular, the technology of public shaming is ambiguous between two senses. On the one hand, public shaming depends on various technologies, such as social media posts or, more historically, pillories. These are the artifacts of shame. On the other hand, public shaming itself is a social technology. In particular, public shaming is a way for communities to promote cooperation. Ultimately, I claim there is (...)
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  • Nonassertive Moral Abolitionism.Jason Dockstader - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (4):481-502.
    Proponents of moral abolitionism, like Richard Garner, qualify their view as an â assertiveâ version of the position. They counsel moral realists and anti-realists alike to accept moral error theory, abolish morality, and encourage others to abolish morality. In response, this paper argues that moral error theorists should abolish morality, but become quiet about such abolition. It offers a quietist or nonassertive version of moral abolitionism. It does so by first clarifying and addressing the arguments for and against assertive moral (...)
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  • Reactionary Moral Fictionalism.Jason Dockstader - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (2):519-534.
    There is a debate among moral error theorists. It concerns what is to be done with moral discourse once it is believed to be systematically false or untrue. It has been called the ‘now what’ problem. Should error theorists abolish morality or insulate themselves in some way from this nihilistic consequence of belief in error theory? Assertive moral abolitionism aims to have error theorists avoid any insulation and abolish morality altogether. Revolutionary moral fictionalism aims for insulation by having error theorists (...)
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  • Social Media Hedonism and the Case of ’Fitspiration’: A Nietzschean Critique.Aurélien Daudi - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-16.
    Though the rise of social media has provided countless advantages and possibilities, both within and without the domain of sports, recent years have also seen some more detrimental aspects of these technologies come to light. In particular, the widespread social media culture surrounding fitness – ‘fitspiration’ – warrants attention for the way it encourages self-sexualization and -objectification, thereby epitomizing a wider issue with photo-based social media in general. Though the negative impact of fitspiration has been well documented, what is less (...)
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  • Expression and Indication in Ethics and Political Philosophy.Dustin Crummett - 2019 - Res Publica 25 (3):387-406.
    We sometimes have reasons to perform actions due to what they would communicate. Those who have discussed such reasons have understood what an action ‘communicates’ as what it conventionally expresses. Brennan and Jaworski argue that when a convention ensures that expressing the appropriate thing would be costly, we should change or flout the convention. I argue that what really matters is often what attitudes we indicate rather than conventionally express, using social science to show that indicating our attitudes is often (...)
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  • Racialized Forgiveness.Myisha Cherry - 2021 - Hypatia 36 (4):583 - 597.
    This article introduces a concept that I refer to as racialized forgiveness. Cases that exemplify certain conditions that I take as paradigmatic of the problem of racialized forgiveness include instances in which: who is forgiven or not is determined by the race of the offender; praise and criticisms of forgiveness are determined by the race of the victim; and praise and criticisms of forgiveness are, at least implicitly, racially self-serving. I argue that this practice is morally objectionable because of its (...)
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  • Enforcing social norms: The morality of public shaming.Paul Billingham & Tom Parr - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 28 (4):997-1016.
    Public shaming plays an important role in upholding valuable social norms. But, under what conditions, if any, is it morally justifiable? Our aim in this paper is systemically to investigate the morality of public shaming, so as to provide an answer to this neglected question. We develop an overarching framework for assessing the justifiability of this practice, which shows that, while shaming can sometimes be morally justifiable, it very often is not. In turn, our framework highlights several reasons to be (...)
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  • Firm Responses to Mass Outrage: Technology, Blame, and Employment.Vikram R. Bhargava - 2020 - Journal of Business Ethics 163 (3):379-400.
    When an employee’s off-duty conduct generates mass social media outrage, managers commonly respond by firing the employee. This, I argue, can be a mistake. The thesis I defend is the following: the fact that a firing would occur in a mass social media outrage context brought about by the employee’s off-duty conduct generates a strong ethical reason weighing against the act. In particular, it contributes to the firing constituting an inappropriate act of blame. Scholars who caution against firing an employee (...)
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  • The Dark Side of Morality: Group Polarization and Moral Epistemology.Marcus Arvan - 2019 - Philosophical Forum 50 (1):87-115.
    This article argues that philosophers and laypeople commonly conceptualize moral truths or justified moral beliefs as discoverable through intuition, argument, or some other purely cognitive or affective process. It then contends that three empirically well-supported theories all predict that this ‘Discovery Model’ of morality plays a substantial role in causing social polarization. The same three theories are then used to argue that an alternative ‘Negotiation Model’ of morality—according to which moral truths are not discovered but instead created by actively negotiating (...)
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  • Morality as an Evolutionary Exaptation.Marcus Arvan - 2021 - In Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz (eds.), Empirically Engaged Evolutionary Ethics. Springer - Synthese Library. pp. 89-109.
    The dominant theory of the evolution of moral cognition across a variety of fields is that moral cognition is a biological adaptation to foster social cooperation. This chapter argues, to the contrary, that moral cognition is likely an evolutionary exaptation: a form of cognition where neurobiological capacities selected for in our evolutionary history for a variety of different reasons—many unrelated to social cooperation—were put to a new, prosocial use after the fact through individual rationality, learning, and the development and transmission (...)
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  • The Non-Performativity of White Virtue-Signaling.Barbara Applebaum - 2021 - Philosophy of Education 77 (3):42.
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  • Don't Block the Exits.Justin Tosi & Brandon Warmke - 2022 - In J. P. Messina (ed.), New Directions in the Ethics and Politics of Speech. Routledge. pp. 50-60.
    In contemporary political discussions, it is depressingly common to see people criticized for expressing impure beliefs. Moreover, those who sometimes defect from their tribe are criticized for failing to be firmly enough on the side of the angels. We consider explanations for this behavior, including its relationship to moral grandstanding. We will also argue, on both moral and epistemic grounds, in favor of a norm against “blocking the exits.” We should not use social pressure to discourage people from publicly changing (...)
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  • The Moral Risks of Online Shaming.Krista Thomason - 2021 - In Oxford Handbook of Digital Ethics. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Shaming behavior on social media has been the cause of concern in recent public discourse. Supporters of online shaming argue that it is an important tool in helping to make social media and online communities safer and more welcoming to traditionally marginalized groups. Objections to shaming often sound like high-minded calls for civility, but I argue that shaming behavior poses serious risks. Here I identify moral and political risks of online shaming. In particular, shaming threatens to undermine our commitment to (...)
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  • The Limitations of the Open Mind.Jeremy Fantl - 2018 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    When should you engage with difficult arguments against your cherished controversial beliefs? The primary conclusion of this book is that your obligations to engage with counterarguments are more limited than is often thought. In some standard situations, you shouldn't engage with difficult counterarguments and, if you do, you shouldn't engage with them open-mindedly. This conclusion runs counter to aspects of the Millian political tradition and political liberalism, as well as what people working in informal logic tend to say about argumentation. (...)
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  • Moral Lessons from Psychology: Contemporary Themes in Psychological Research and their relevance for Ethical Theory.Henrik Ahlenius - 2020 - Stockholm: Stockholm University.
    The thesis investigates the implications for moral philosophy of research in psychology. In addition to an introduction and concluding remarks, the thesis consists of four chapters, each exploring various more specific challenges or inputs to moral philosophy from cognitive, social, personality, developmental, and evolutionary psychology. Chapter 1 explores and clarifies the issue of whether or not morality is innate. The chapter’s general conclusion is that evolution has equipped us with a basic suite of emotions that shape our moral judgments in (...)
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  • Trashing and Tribalism in the Gender Wars.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2022 - In Noell Birondo (ed.), The Moral Psychology of Hate. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 207-233.
    In 1976, Jo Freeman wrote an article for Ms. Magazine, entitled ‘Trashing: The Dark Side of Sisterhood’. It provoked an outpouring of letters from women relating their own experiences of trashing during the course of the second wave feminist movement—more letters than Ms. had received about any previous article. Since then, the technology has improved but the climate among feminists has not; trashing is now conducted on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, in front of ever-larger audiences and with (...)
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  • Metaphor Abuse in the Time of Coronavirus: A Reply to Lynne Tirrell.Shane J. Ralston - 2021 - Southwest Philosophy Review 37 (1):89-99.
    In the time of Coronavirus, it is perhaps as good a time as any to comment on the use and abuse of metaphors. One of the worst instances of metaphor abuse-especially given the recent epidemiological crisis-is Lynne Tirrell's notion of toxic speech. In the foregoing reply piece, I analyze Tirrell's metaphor and reveal how it blinds us to the liberating power of public speech. Lynne Tirrell argues that some speech is, borrowing from field of Epidemiology, toxic in the sense that (...)
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  • Moral grandstanding, narcissism, and self-reported responses to the COVID-19 crisis.Joshua B. Grubbs, A. Shanti James, Brandon Warmke & Justin Tosi - 2022 - Journal of Research in Personality 97 (104187):1-10.
    The present study aimed to understand how status-oriented individual differences such as narcissistic antagonism, narcissistic extraversion, and moral grandstanding motivations may have longitudinally predicted both behavioral and social media responses during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Via YouGov, a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults was recruited in August of 2019 (N = 2,519; Mage = 47.5, SD = 17.8; 51.4% women) and resampled in May of 2020, (N = 1,533). Results indicated that baseline levels of narcissistic antagonism (...)
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  • Immoral Artists.Erich Hatala Matthes - forthcoming - In James Harold (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Ethics and Art.
    This chapter offers an overview of issues posed by the problem of immoral artists, artists who in word or deed violate commonly held moral principles. I briefly consider the question of whether the immorality of an artist can render their work aesthetically worse (making connections to chapters in the Theory section of the handbook), and then turn to questions about what the audience should do and feel in response to knowledge of these moral failings. I discuss questions such as whether (...)
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  • Moral discourse boosts confidence in moral judgments.Nora Heinzelmann, Benedikt Höltgen & Viet Tran - 2021 - Philosophical Psychology 34.
    The so-called “conciliatory” norm in epistemology and meta-ethics requires that an agent, upon encountering peer disagreement with her judgment, lower her confidence about that judgment. But whether agents actually abide by this norm is unclear. Although confidence is excessively researched in the empirical sciences, possible effects of disagreement on confidence have been understudied. Here, we target this lacuna, reporting a study that measured confidence about moral beliefs before and after exposure to moral discourse about a controversial issue. Our findings indicate (...)
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  • After Solipsism.David Schmidtz - 2017 - In Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume 6. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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  • Resistance as Sacrifice: Towards an Ascetic Antiracism.Musa Al-Gharbi - 2019 - Sociological Forum 34 (S1):1197-1216.
    Often described as an outcome, inequality is better understood as a social process -- a function of how institutions are structured and reproduced, and the ways people act and interact within them across time. Racialized inequality persists because it is enacted moment to moment, context to context -- and it can be ended should those who currently perpetuate it commit themselves to playing a different role instead. This essay makes three core contributions: first, it highlights a disturbing parity between the (...)
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  • Moral grandstanding and political polarization: A multi-study consideration.Joshua B. Grubbs, Brandon Warmke, Justin Tosi & A. Shanti James - 2020 - Journal of Research in Personality 88.
    The present work posits that social motives, particularly status seeking in the form of moral grandstanding, are likely at least partially to blame for elevated levels of affective polarization and ideological extremism in the U.S. In Study 1, results from both undergraduates (N = 981; Mean age = 19.4; SD = 2.1; 69.7% women) and a cross-section of U.S. adults matched to 2010 census norms (N = 1,063; Mean age = 48.20, SD = 16.38; 49.8% women) indicated that prestige-motived grandstanding (...)
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  • Moral Grandstanding in Public Discourse: Status-Seeking Motives as a Potential Explanatory Mechanism in Predicting Conflict.Joshua B. Grubbs, Brandon Warmke, Justin Tosi, A. Shanti James & W. Keith Campbell - 2019 - PLoS ONE 14 (10).
    Public discourse is often caustic and conflict-filled. This trend seems to be particularly evident when the content of such discourse is around moral issues (broadly defined) and when the discourse occurs on social media. Several explanatory mechanisms for such conflict have been explored in recent psychological and social-science literatures. The present work sought to examine a potentially novel explanatory mechanism defined in philosophical literature: Moral Grandstanding. According to philosophical accounts, Moral Grandstanding is the use of moral talk to seek social (...)
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  • Relational Sufficientarianism and Basic Income.Justin Tosi - 2019 - In Michael Cholbi & Michael Weber (eds.), The Future of Work, Technology, and Basic Income. New York: Routledge. pp. 49-61.
    Basic income policies have recently enjoyed a great deal of discussion, but they are not a natural fit with views of distributive or social justice endorsed by many moral and political philosophers. This essay develops and defends a new view of social justice, called relational sufficientarianism, which is more compatible with a universal basic income. Relational sufficientarianism holds that persons in a just society must have sufficient social status, but not necessarily equal social status. It argues that this view offers (...)
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