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CEPPA Talk (in person) – Jules Holroyd (Sheffield)
December 1, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Location: Edgecliffe G03
Title: Proleptic Praise
Abstract: What is praise? I argue that we can make progress by examining what praise does. Functionalist views of praise are emerging, but I here argue that by foregrounding cases in which expressions of praise are rejected by their direct target, we see that praise has a wider, and largely neglected, social function. First I introduce cases in which praise is rejected. Then, I identify a series of desiderata for an analysis of praise by bringing these cases into contact with existing views about what praise is and does. Finally I develop a functionalist account and show how it can meet these desiderata. In outline, my claim is that one key function of praise is to exert social pressure by bestowing esteem. I tease out some mechanisms via which praise exerts social pressure, and is particularly difficult to challenge. This analysis is responsive to, and places at the foreground of our analysis, the possibility that praise can be used for bad and oppressive ends.
Co-hosted with ECT.