Folytatódik Speaker Series rendezvénysorozatunk február 24-én 14:00 órától, Shmuel Nili (Northwestern University) előadásában, “Waving the banner of democracy”: democratic sanctions and three hypocrisy puzzles címmel.
This essay aims to advance both the general discussion of hypocrisy in moral and political philosophy, and normative policy debates regarding democratic sanctions against autocracies, which often trigger accusations of hypocrisy. I focus on the worry that established democracies’ own failings make it objectionably hypocritical of them to sanction autocracies. In the process of trying to make sense of this worry, I articulate and start to tackle three general puzzles regarding hypocrisy charges. The first, inaction puzzle, is why a charge of hypocrisy should have any effect on the moral assessment of an agent’s actions, as distinct from the agent’s character. The second, ambivalence puzzle, asks why we often react to hypocrisy charges with seemingly-paradoxical ambivalence – recognizing these charges for the transparent deflections that they often are, but also granting their normative force. Finally, the rejoinder puzzle asks why hypocrisy charges do not entirely lose their force when their targets openly concede that they too have suffered from the same flaws that they are highlighting in others. I try to show that sustained reflection on each of these puzzles can enrich – and be enriched by – normative analysis of democratic sanctions.