In The Virtues of Our Vices: A Modest Defense of Gossip, Rudeness, and Other Bad Habits
Are there times when it’s right to be rude? Can we distinguish between good and bad gossip? Am I a snob if I think that BBC listeners are likely to be better informed than devotees of Fox News? Does sick humour do anyone any good? Can I think your beliefs are absurd but still respect you? Philosopher Emrys Westacott, author of In The Virtues of Our Vices: A Modest Defense of Gossip, Rudeness, and Other Bad Habits, takes a fresh look at important everyday ethical questions – and comes up with surprising answers. He makes a compelling argument that some of our most common vices – rudeness, gossip, snobbery, tasteless humour, and disrespect for others’ beliefs – often have hidden virtues or serve unappreciated but valuable purposes. He is in discussion with philosophy writer Julian Baggini.
This Festival of Ideas event is part of a regular series of live discussions with Julian Baggini recorded at Foyles for the microphilosophy podcast series.
Emrys Westacott is professor of philosophy at Alfred University in Alfred, New York. His work has been featured in the New York Times and has appeared in the Philosopher’s Magazine, Philosophy Now, the Humanist, the Philosophical Forum, and many other publications. He is the author of In The Virtues of Our Vices: A Modest Defense of Gossip, Rudeness, and Other Bad Habits and the co-author of Thinking Through Philosophy: An Introduction.
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