Aiming for Moral Mediocrity | University of Oxford

Aiming for Moral Mediocrity

Speaker
Eric Schwitzgebel
Event date
Event time
11:00 - 12:30
Venue
Oxford Martin School
34 Broad St
Oxford
Oxfordshire
OX1 3BD
Venue details

Seminar Room 1

Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Freee
Disabled access?
Yes
Booking required
Required

Most of us aim to be morally mediocre. That is, we aim to be about as morally good as our peers, not especially better, not especially worse. This mediocrity has two aspects. It is peer-relative rather than absolute, and it is middling rather than extreme. We look around us, notice how others are acting, then calibrate toward so-so. This is a somewhat bad way to be, but it's not a terribly bad way to be. We ought to be somewhat disappointed in ourselves. A possibly helpful comparison is being mediocre in other things you care about intensely: being a mediocre parent, a mediocre friend, a mediocre teacher, a mediocre philosopher.