Do Ethicists and Political Philosophers Vote More Often Than Other Professors?Eric Schwitzgebel and Joshua Rust
forthcoming, Review of Philosophy and Psychology
Abstract: If philosophical moral reflection improves moral behavior, one might expect professional ethicists to behave morally better than socially similar non-ethicists. Under the assumption that forms of political engagement such as voting have moral worth, we looked at the rate at which a sample of professional ethicists – and political philosophers as a subgroup of ethicists – voted in eight years’ worth of elections. We compared ethicists’ and political philosophers’ voting rates with the voting rates of three other groups: philosophers not specializing in ethics, political scientists, and a comparison group of professors specializing in neither philosophy nor political science. All groups voted at about the same rate, except for the political scientists, who voted about 10-15% more often.
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