Are Philosophers Hypocrites?

Are Philosophers Hypocrites?

“On no issue did ethicists show unequivocally better behavior than the two comparison groups,” the researchers reported.

An article in The Atlantic— The Hypocrisy of Professional Ethicists— sums up research by Eric Schwitzgebel (UCR), Joshua Greene (Harvard), Sara Bleich (Johns Hopkins), Eric Schulz (Max Planck Inst.), Michael Koenigs (Wisconsin), and others that shows that philosophers blend right into the crowd when it comes to behavior, despite their training and particular beliefs.

Sixty percent of the ethicists rated eating red meat as “morally bad,” but only 27 percent said they didn’t regularly eat it. Ethicists and political philosophers were no more likely to vote than other kinds of professors, nor were ethicists more likely to donate blood or register as organ donors… 

Another study shows ethicists to be especially delinquent library patrons:compared with other philosophy texts, “contemporary ethics books of the sort likely to be borrowed mainly by professors and advanced students of philosophy” were roughly 50 percent more likely to be permanently missing…

Philosophers are also vulnerable to biases… [e.g., order bias]

Readers may recall the post “Philosophers: Disappointingly Normal” from last month, which trod similar ground.

(image: from a Where’s Waldo? book. Yes, Waldo is in there somewhere.)


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