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14 January 2021

Is hypocrisy essential for peaceful society?

Is all hypocrisy malicious or are there strands of ‘good’ hypocrisy that are essential in order for humans to live together peacefully?

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Dr Robin Douglass draws on the work of 18th century philosopher Bernard Mandeville

Dr Robin Douglass takes a closer look at the complexities of this question while drawing on the work of 18th century philosopher Bernard Mandeville in his new paper, Bernard Mandeville on the Use and Abuse of Hypocrisy, published in the Political Studies journal.

In the paper, Dr Douglass, from the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London, seeks to reconstruct Mandeville’s account of hypocrisy to set out a more general framework for assessing when hypocrisy is likely to prove either socially beneficial or pernicious.

Dr Douglass also examines what is at stake in choosing to expose rather than tolerate other people’s hypocrisy in our day-to-day lives.

You can read the paper, published in the December edition of Political Studies, here.

In this story

Robin  Douglass

Professor of Political Theory