Moral Philosophy Seminar (Monday - Week 6, TT21)

moral philosophy

When A twists B's words, A knows that B didn't mean some speech act G but pretends that B meant G anyway.   In previous unpublished work, I've explored the conversational dynamics of cooperative, morally permissible word twisting.  In this talk, I bring this analysis to bear on cases of non-cooperative, morally impermissible word twisting.  In the simplest cases, the perpetrator engages in one-off word twisting, usually as a way to illegitimately control the conversation or make vivid her power over the victim.  In more complicated cases, the word twister continuously and coherently word twists the victim, in such a way that the victim and the perpetrator seem to inhabit the same pretense.   When successful, the perpetrator has, as it were, turned conversation itself against the victim.  I speculate about the ethical similarities between this extreme form of word twisting and some accounts of torture.

The Seminar is going to be held via Microsoft teams. Please email one of the convenors below if you would like to attend.

Moral Philosophy Seminar Convenors: Ed Lamb and Jeremy Fix