Matt Stichter

Alessandra Tanesini


Latest posts

Group membership, moral criticism and self-affirmation

Posted on 21 May 2018 by Matt Stichter

Public debates often involve issues that people find distressing, especially if they involve accusations of moral wrongdoing (even in the past) by groups with whom one identifies.  People want to avoid guilt ‘by association’ and maintain a general belief that they are good, rational, and moral creatures. Avoiding such feelings and maintaining such beliefs may,
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‘Implicit Bias’ in public discourse

Posted on 7 May 2018 by Jules Holroyd

The news has been awash with discussion of implicit bias, and the role it seems to have played in the discriminatory treatment of two black men in a Philadelphia branch of Starbucks in the US. Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson were waiting to meet a friend when they were asked to leave; when they declined
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Reflections on Transcribing Multimodal Texts

Posted on 26 March 2018 by Tom Martin

Since the election of Donald Trump in 2017 the media has often seemed to be in a continual state of shock at the brusque manner of the forty-fifth president’s speech. During the summer of 2017 I conducted a research project into transcription methods for multimodal discourse, contributing to the Changing Attitudes in Public Discourse study.
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Intellectual Humility and Conviction

Posted on 12 March 2018 by Duncan Pritchard

Here is a puzzle. On the one hand, we laud people in public life for their conviction, for sticking to their principles come what may. Indeed, we take to be crucial to someone’s authenticity. On the other hand, however, don’t we also think that it is important that those in public life are intellectually humble
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Explaining the puzzle of national shame

Posted on 26 February 2018 by Helen De Cruz

In the aftermath of the EU Referendum, I encountered many people who said to me, “I am ashamed to be British”, or, when confronted with the fallout of the referendum such as the lack of diplomacy exhibited by David Davis, May’s use of EU citizen rights as bargaining chips, or the failure to keep human
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The Multiple Ways to Criticise Stereotyping

Posted on 12 February 2018 by Kathy Puddifoot

Do you assume that the person wearing the uniform in the shop is a shop assistant, that the teacher enjoys the company of children, or that the vegan has a good level of self-control? It is widely accepted that thoughts like these that associate individuals with features due to their membership of social groups—i.e. stereotypes—are
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Arrogance and the Space of Reasons

Posted on 29 January 2018 by Michael P. Lynch

  A democracy is more than a form of government; it is primarily a mode of associated living, of conjoining communicated experience. —John Dewey[1]   One of the truly baffling things about the Trump era in the United States is that just when you think our political life could not become any more fractured, it
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How Closed-Mindedness Obstructs Effective Inquiry

Posted on 18 December 2017 by Quassim Cassam

In his recent book Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein, John Nixon describes his encounters with the two main protagonists of the 2003 Iraq war. Nixon, a senior leadership analyst for the CIA, was the first American to interrogate Saddam Hussein at length after his capture by U.S. forces. Nixon’s fascinating insights into
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What is Google Doing to Us?

Posted on 4 December 2017 by Emma C. Gordon

By J. Adam Carter and Emma C. Gordon Suppose you wanted to know who the first pope was after St. Peter (answer: Pope Linus, born 10 AD), or what the oldest continuously habited city in the world is (answer: Damascus, Syria, continuously inhabited since the 3rd millennium BC) or what the terrifying entity ‘Krampus’ is
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What is Closed-Mindedness?

Posted on 20 November 2017 by Heather Battaly

On March 7 2017, Jason Chaffetz who was then a member of the US House of Representatives (R-Utah) told a CNN anchor: “Americans have choices….rather than getting that new iPhone…they should invest…in their own health care. They’ve got to make those decisions for themselves.”[1] Later the same day, in a discussion of the Affordable Care Act
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How Empathy Inhibits Trust

Posted on 6 November 2017 by Olivia Bailey

In my previous blog post, “How empathy promotes trust,” I argued that empathy can furnish an important source of trust in other people’s testimony (testifying simply being the act of inviting people to take your word for it that something or other is true). I also mentioned that this positive relation of support is not
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How Empathy Promotes Trust

Posted on 23 October 2017 by Olivia Bailey

In the aftermath of the Dallas shootings on July 7, 2016, Hillary Clinton said: “We need to try as best we can to walk in one another’s shoes, to imagine what it would feel like if people followed us around stores or locked their car doors when we walked past.” Clinton was calling for a familiar
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Bad Questions Lead to Bad Democracy

Posted on 9 October 2017 by Lani Watson

In a previous post, I discussed the essential role that questions play in the political landscape of contemporary democracy. The ability to ask questions, and to ask good ones at that, facilitates participation in political discussion and debate, allows us to gather information that speaks to our concerns, and those of our communities, and enables
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Good Democracy Needs Good Questions

Posted on 25 September 2017 by Lani Watson

“If you were president, what would you do about Syria and the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo?” This question was asked to both candidates at the second U.S. presidential debate, during the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. As per the ‘town-hall’ format of the debate, the question was asked by a member of the public,
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The Ethics of Linguistic Plurality

Posted on 11 September 2017 by Matteo Bonotti

A guest post from co-authors Matteo Bonotti (Cardiff University) and Yael Peled (McGill University) How we think about language tends to significantly influence, if not shape, how we think about the political ethics of language, namely how we theorize language when considering the empirical and normative dimensions of political life.
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Collaboration versus point scoring

Posted on 5 June 2017 by Alessandra Tanesini

Last Monday we held the first workshop associated with the project Changing Attitudes in Public Debate. The workshop was by invitation and designed to bring together some philosophers, social psychologists and linguists that analyse the verbal and non-verbal aspects of conversations.
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