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Aiming for Moral Mediocrity

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Duration: 0:43:41 | Added: 29 Jun 2017
In this talk, Eric Schwitzgebel considers whether it's acceptable to aim for peer-relative mediocrity.

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.

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