Ethics Untangled

1: How Should We Behave Online? With Joe Saunders

April 02, 2023 Jim Baxter
Ethics Untangled
1: How Should We Behave Online? With Joe Saunders
Show Notes

Dr Joe Saunders is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Durham. He primarily works on ethics and agency in Kant and the post-Kantian tradition. He also has interests in the philosophy of love and media ethics.

In this episode we talk about how we should behave online. How bad is social media as a forum for discussion, for example of political or social issues? What specific pitfalls can we fall into and how should we avoid them? What are our responsibilities to each other? And is civility the answer?

Here's Joe:
And here he is on Twitter (be nice!):

Some of the books and papers which Joe mentions in the episode:

Levy, Neil (2021). Virtue signalling is virtuous. Synthese 198 (10):9545-9562.
Nguyen, C. Thi (2020). Echo chambers and epistemic bubbles. Episteme 17 (2):141-161.
Olberding, Amy. The Wrong of Rudeness: Learning Modern Civility from Ancient Chinese Philosophy. 2019. Oxford University Press.
Olberding, Amy. Righteous Incivility. Online at:
Ronson, Jon. So You've Been Publicly Shamed. 2015. Riverhead Books.
Tosi, J. and Warmke, B. Grandstanding: The use and abuse of moral talk. 2020. Oxford University Press.

By the way, at one point in the episode I talk about the practice on social media of finding the worst possible version of your opponent's argument in order to dunk on it. I've since become aware of the very useful term 'nutpicking' to refer to this phenomenon:

Ethics Untangled is produced by the IDEA Ethics Centre at the University of Leeds.

Twitter: @EthicsUntangled