Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion Volume 3$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jonathan L. Kvanvig

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199603213

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199603213.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 January 2021

A Puzzle about Hypocrisy

A Puzzle about Hypocrisy

(p.89) 6 A Puzzle about Hypocrisy
Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion Volume 3

Frances Howard‐Snyder

Oxford University Press

This chapter defines hypocrisy as moral inconsistency where the subject does x, while making some verbal or behavioral expression of the claim that x is wrong. It considers purported counterexamples and argues that the original definition survives most of these, although it may need a little tinkering. The second half deals with the concern that moral realism has a difficult time explaining why hypocrisy is so objectionable, while constructivist moral theories can more easily explain this. In response the author argues that, even if realism is true, the hypocrite is guilty of the special vice of knowingly doing what is wrong. Either she is acting wrongly or she is wrongly condemning or blaming others or placing unnecessary burdens on them. This is true even (or maybe especially) in cases where it isn't clear what the right action is. If we think of hypocrisy as a vice (rather than a wrong action) this seems to illuminate its special sort of badness.

Keywords:   hypocrisy, moral realism, vice, inconsistency, constructivism

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .