Politics as Morality Pageant
Thursday, December 3, 2020
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM PDT
Why It's Our Own Fault That Politicians Don't Solve Problems
We are all guilty of it. We call people terrible names in conversation or online. We vilify those with whom we disagree, and make bolder claims than we could defend. We want to be seen as taking the moral high ground not just to make a point, or move a debate forward, but to look a certain way—incensed, or compassionate, or committed to a cause. We exaggerate. In other words, we grandstand.
Nowhere is this more evident than in public discourse today, and especially as it plays out across the internet.
To philosophers Justin Tosi and Brandon Warmke, who have written extensively about moral grandstanding, such one-upmanship is not just annoying, but dangerous. As politics gets more and more polarized, people on both sides of the spectrum move further and further apart when they let grandstanding get in the way of engaging one another. The pollution of our most urgent conversations with self-interest damages the very causes they are meant to forward.
Join the Pepperdine School of Public Policy for an engaging conversation with Warmke, assistant professor of philosophy at Bowling Green State University and co-author of Grandstanding: The Use and Abuse of Moral Talk who will explore what drives us to behave in this way, and what we stand to lose by taking it too far. Warmke will discuss how, by avoiding grandstanding, we can re-build a public square worth participating in.
Note: Registration is limited. All individuals who register will receive a copy of the video via email.
Brandon Warmke is assistant professor of philosophy at Bowling Green State University. He specializes in moral, political, and social philosophy, and his work has been featured by the Atlantic, New York Times Magazine, HuffPost, Scientific American, Forbes, Vox, Commentary Magazine, and the Guardian. In 2020, he published Grandstanding: The Use and Abuse of Moral Talk, with co-author Justin Tosi.
Grandstanding: The Use and Abuse of Moral Talk
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