This article argues that boycotts, shunning, and shaming are sometimes corrupt because they create incentives that undermine important individual aims, enticing people into acting for inappropriate reasons. They harm targets by undermining belief formation, or by impeding efforts at living authentically, deterring targets from declaring their beliefs in public or from pursuing projects that they believe important. They are corrupt because they make their targets willing participants in undermining their own aims, subverting their individual ambitions not to allow money or social pressure to influence their beliefs and their most important actions. Although individuals must sometimes take responsibility for maintaining their own integrity – resisting temptations that might corrupt their thoughts and actions – people also have a moral responsibility not to undermine other people’s efforts at integrity.
Law | Law and Philosophy | Law and Society | Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility
Date of this Version
Scott Altman, "Are Boycotts, Shunning, and Shaming Corrupt?" (September 2018). University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series. Working Paper 272.