It is widely believed that we ought not to criticize others for wrongs that we ourselves have committed. The author draws out and challenges some of the background assumptions about the practice of criticism that underlie our attraction to this claim, such as the tendency to think of criticism either as a social sanction or as a didactic intervention. The author goes on to offer a taxonomy of cases in which the moral legitimacy of criticism is challenged on the grounds that the critic him- or herself engages in the behavior that he or she criticizes in others. The author argues that, in each type of case, the would-be critics should not constrain their participation in moral discourse on the grounds that they are not themselves innocent of the wrongdoing they criticize in others.
Daniela Dover; The Walk and the Talk. The Philosophical Review 1 October 2019; 128 (4): 387–422. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00318108-7697850
Download citation file: