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Ethicists’ courtesy at philosophy conferences

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If philosophical moral reflection tends to promote moral behavior, one might think that professional ethicists would behave morally better than do socially comparable non-ethicists. We examined three types of courteous and discourteous behavior at American Philosophical Association conferences: talking audibly while the speaker is talking (versus remaining silent), allowing the door to slam shut while entering or exiting mid-session (versus attempting to close the door quietly), and leaving behind clutter at the end of a session (versus leaving one's seat tidy). By these three measures, audiences in ethics sessions did not appear to behave any more courteously than did audiences in non-ethics sessions. However, audiences in environmental ethics sessions did appear to leave behind less trash.
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Keywords: Ethics; Ethics Professors; Etiquette; Metaphilosophy; Moral Behavior; Morality; Philosophers; Psychology of Philosophy; Sociology of Philosophy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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