Justin Tosi and Brandon Warmke
Philosophy & Public Affairs
First published: 27 December 2016
Here is an excerpt:
We suspect that most people would agree that grandstanding is annoying. We think that it is also morally problematic. In our view, the vast majority of moral grandstanding is bad, and, in general, one should not grandstand. We will adduce some reasons for this view shortly, but we should make a few preliminary points.
First, we will not argue that grandstanding should never be done. We are open to the possibility that there are circumstances in which either an instance of grandstanding possesses no bad‐making features or, even if an instance does have bad‐making features, the option of not grandstanding will be even worse.
Second, we will not claim that people who grandstand are bad people in virtue of engaging in grandstanding. We all have flaws that are on occasion revealed in the public square. Engaging in grandstanding is not obviously worse than many other flaws, and a propensity to grandstand is not indefeasible evidence that someone lacks good character.
Third, although we do believe that grandstanding is typically bad and should not be done, we are not prescribing any particular social enforcement mechanisms to deal with it. Presently, our concerns are the nature of grandstanding and its moral status. It does not follow, at least in any straightforward way, that people should intervene in public moral discourse to discourage others from grandstanding, or to blame them for grandstanding.
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