The Issue is Not the Issue: A Podcast with Hans-Georg Moeller and Dan Sarafinas

Hans-Georg Moeller and Dan Sarafinas discuss contemporary debates on “political correctness” and related moral and social issues. They point to concepts such as virtue speech (“virtue signalling”), civil religion, and the role of critique to better understand their nature.

Episode 1–Virtue Speech:;

The phenomenon of virtue speech (“virtue signalling”) has become a central feature in recent outrage movements pervasive throughout the West. Virtue speech, which is implicitly tied to accusations of hate speech, is a form of moralistic discourse setting speech examples that make it difficult to openly discuss elements of our culture without falling into the trap of moralizing.

Episode 2–Civil Religion:

Civil religion plays a central role in the virtue speech, or political correctness, discourse. The history of the concept is discussed as well as the structure of the American form of civil religion and how tenets of civil religion are constantly being performed and re-enacted, particularly in current social media outrage movements.


3 replies on “The Issue is Not the Issue: A Podcast with Hans-Georg Moeller and Dan Sarafinas”

  1. I’m very excited to listen to these — have you guys listened to Mark Lilla, Fukuyama, Kwame Anthony Appiah, or Jonathan Haidt on this topic? The most sane voices so far. There are a few others writing on this (e.g., Manning & Campbell, &c.) who are also very much worth reading and listening to. Fukuyama has good thoughts, but his presentation is flat, and will put one to sleep.

    • William Egginton is also pretty good as well, similar to Haidt and Greg Lukianoff. Heather Mac Donald is maybe disagreeable to some, but also provides an interesting perspective.

  2. Yes, Paul and I were reading/listening to these people. I think their critiques are mostly valid, but they also sometimes run the risk of trying to replace what they deem wrong “virtue speech” with right “virtue speech”.

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