The psychology of moral grandstanding

Moral grandstanding is a vanity project that sabotages public discourse says moral philosopher Brandon Warmke.

  • Moral grandstanding is the use of moral talk for self-promotion. Moral grandstanders have egotistical motives: they may want to signal that they have superhuman insight into a topic, paint themselves as a victim, or show that they care more than others.
  • Moral philosophers view moral grandstanding as a net negative. They argue that it contributes to political polarization, increases levels of cynicism about moral talk and its value in public life, and it causes outrage exhaustion.
  • Grandstanders are also a kind of social free rider, says Brandon Warmke. They get the benefits of being heard without contributing to any valuable discourse. It's selfish behavior at best, and divisive behavior at worst.
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Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies

Apple CEO Tim Cook calls for graduates to overcome "political noise" and algorithms

Cook's commencement speech at Tulane University urges students to take action.

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  • Apple CEO Tim Cook gave a commencement speech at Tulane University on May 18th.
  • Cook cautioned the graduates to not get caught up in echo chambers and algorithms.
  • He acknowledged the failures of his generation.
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Technology & Innovation

The real numbers behind abortions in the United States

How many abortions are actually performed? Numbers reveal the complexity in the raging debate.

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  • The American society is close to split on the legality of abortions.
  • 45,789,558 abortions were carried out in the U.S. between 1970 and 2015.
  • The abortion numbers are at an all-time low now, trending almost half of what they were.
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Politics & Current Affairs

Fascism and conspiracy theories: The symptoms of broken communication

The lost practice of face-to-face communication has made the world a more extreme place.

  • The world was saner when we spoke face-to-face, argues John Cameron Mitchell. Not looking someone in the eye when you talk to them raises the potential for miscommunication and conflict.
  • Social media has been an incredible force for activism and human rights, but it's also negatively affected our relationship with the media. We are now bombarded 24/7 with news that either drives us to anger or apathy.
  • Sitting behind a screen makes polarization worse, and polarization is fertile ground for conspiracy theories and fascism, which Cameron describes as irrationally blaming someone else for your problems.
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Videos

These are the world’s most fragile states in 2019

Yemen leads the list of the most fragile nations, with the U.S. and U.K. among the "most worsened."

MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images

There are some rankings no nation wants to lead.

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Politics & Current Affairs