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Parr Center Presents: Grant Rozeboom

April 26 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

“When the Vain Couldn’t Care Less”

Vain people unjustifiably expect to be highly regarded by others. This is annoying, but is it ever a serious moral problem? I think it depends on the kind of vanity in question. There are two important distinctions we should draw: between vain people who do, and those who do not, care about the correctness of their inflated expectations of high regard, and between those who expect high praise and those who expect deference. The most serious moral problems arise from vain people who do not care about the correctness of their inflated regard-expectations and who expect deference. We can label them “smug” and “entitled.” Some familiar examples are “tech bros,” who feel that the world should cater to their entrepreneurial whims, and narcissistic bosses, who regard employees as natural subordinates who deserve to be ordered around and berated. Entitled-smug people present two serious moral problems that I explore: first, they are deeply resistant to relating to others as moral equals, and second, it is unclear whether and how we should hold them responsible for their vice, given its intransigence. I also consider how these problems are magnified when entitled-smug people hold positions of power over others.


Grant J. Rozeboom is Assistant Professor of Business Ethics and Corporate Responsibility at Saint Mary’s College of California. His research and teaching concern a range of issues in normative and applied ethics, including the nature and implications of moral equality, respect for persons, and moral responsibility. He is currently exploring how workplaces can better respect the moral equality of persons, how companies should (or shouldn’t) influence their employees to be more ethical, and when companies deserve credit for doing what’s right.


This event will be held via Zoom. Click here to fill out a form to receive the Zoom meeting information. The talk will be recorded and posted on the Parr Center’s YouTube channel if you are unable to make the live session. If you have any trouble with registration, please contact Jordan Lifer (email is listed below)!


April 26
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Jordan Lifer