Democracy and Deceit
Is democracy fundamentally threatened by those who aim to mislead the public? My current research - "Democracy and Deceit: Rethinking Collective-Decision Making in the Era of Misinformation" - studies the impact of online misinformation and deceptive speech on democratic decision-making and assesses the moral value of different strategies against it. For instance, I am interested in determining whether legal prohibitions against misinformation such as those implemented in France and Germany are morally acceptable. To do so, I draw insights from the epistemology of testimony as well as from philosophical perspectives on personal autonomy and free speech, and applies them to the context of online interaction. I also frequently rely on empirical political studies and psychological findings which allow us to understand how citizens vote, deliberate and form specific political beliefs.
The Ethics of Online Interaction
Educating for Virtue
While the history of moral thought has largely focused on problems that arise when two or more individuals interact in a physical setting, we increasingly spend our moral life online and connect with individuals that we do not know personally as well as with anonymous users. To what extent can traditional moral thinking inform our digital existence? My research on digital wrongs and the ethics of online interpersonal behaviour assesses the moral value of online practices such as trolling, hacktivism and anonymous interaction on social networking platforms. Here, my objective is twofold: not only do I attempt to determine how we can rightly or wrongly behave on the internet, but I also explore whether the rights and wrongs we commit online are reducible to the ones theorized by past philosophers, that is, engage in conceptual ethics. To do so, I draw insights from moral theory, social psychology and media studies.
Can we counteract our rational weaknesses by acquiring intellectual and moral virtues? In my work on virtue ethics and epistemology, I argue that the epistemic context of contemporary societies provides us with reason to teach and acquire character traits such as open-mindedness, intellectual courage, skepticism and, above all, intellectual humility.
This research project strongly intersects with my interest for the history of philosophy, especially for the works of Kant and Aristotle. In my Ph.D. dissertation, I argued that neo-Kantian theories of practical reason have more in common with virtue theory than we usually assume, and that in his later writings (Doctrine of Virtue, Pedagogy), Kant himself admitted to the need of inciting young individuals to acquire a set of virtues which will lead them to become fully competent moral and political agents. After discussing with editors, I was encouraged to submit a book proposal based on this work and I am scheduled to do so on the 20th of December 2018.
“Political Liberalism and the False Neutrality Objection," Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy (Early View).
“Kantian Constructivism and the Normativity of Practical Identities,” Dialogue. Canadian Philosophical Review. (Early View)
“Aristotelian Virtue Ethics and the Normativity Challenge,” Dialogue. Canadian Philosophical Review, Volume 55, Issue 1, March 2016, p. 131-150.
“La justice ethnoculturelle après les théories de la justice” (with Alain Renaut, Geoffroy Lauvau and Marie-Pauline Chartron), Revue de métaphysique et de morale, 2016/3, No 91, p. 377-398.
Inégalités entre globalisation et particularisation, Paris, Presses de l’université Paris-Sorbonne, 2016 (together with Alain Renaut, Geoffroy Lauvau and Marie-Pauline Chartron).
“Civic Education in the Post-Truth Era: Intellectual Virtues and the Epistemic Threats of Social Media,” In C. Macleod and C. Tappolet, Shaping Citizens: Philosophical Perspectives on Education, London, Routledge (Forthcoming)”
“Justice sociale et émotions négatives.” In Patrick Savidan, Dictionnaires des inégalités et de la justice sociale, Paris, Presses universitaires de France (with Christine Tappolet). Forthcoming.
“Justice ethnoculturelle et autodétermination. Le cas des autochtones du Canada”, in Inégalités entre globalisation et particularisation, Paris, Presses de l’université Paris-Sorbonne, 2016.
“Une justice au-delà des tribunaux ? Finalités et enjeux des Commissions vérité et reconciliation”, in Kora Andrieu et Geoffroy Lauvau, Quelle justice pour les peuples en transition ?, Presses de l’Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2014, p. 223-236.
“Reassessing the Left-Right Dichotomy: Chantal Mouffe and the Project of a Radical Democracy”, in Ana Rita Ferreira et Joao Rosas, Left and Right: The Great Dichotomy Revisited, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013, p. 295-308.