From Feb. 20, 2017
I’m interested in the contours of the moral universe in which Trumpists reside. Lying is clearly not a problem with anyone. Sexual abuse is fine – yea for pussy grabbing. Hypocrisy – no problem there either. But pedophilia is not ok (we see that with MY’s fall from grace). So there’s a line there. What else is across that line?
I feel like there’s a mapping project for the moral geography of this group of revanchists and reactionaries we have before us. What kinds of actions are in bounds and which aren’t? Who is a moral actor and who isn’t? What’s virtue and what isn’t? Who is an object of moral action, and at what level? What kind of moral imagination is there, and where does it appear (and where doesn’t it appear)?
I know, the kneejerk reaction to this will be, it’s all bad, they’re all bad. I think that has to be resisted. I’m thinking of this as a philosophical/anthropological project. We have a group for whom there is a moral geography. It’s not by any means unified – certainly there are lots of fissures within it. But there are also some commonalities.
Another indicator of the lines between what’s ok and what isn’t, is what merits a reaction of defense and what merits a reaction of simple denial or rejection. In other words, when does this group say, in effect, “that’s bad, but we didn’t do that”, and when does it say “what you think is bad isn’t, and yes, we did it, so what?” That’s an indication of a moral border as well.
So, there’s a project in empirical philosophy for someone.