Solidarity: Virtue or Vice?
What is group solidarity and is it always a virtue? This paper proposes a working analysis of the trait of group solidarity and argues that the trait of group solidarity is not always a virtue. It suggests that a group has the trait of solidarity to the extent that its members are disposed to: (1) share values, aims, or goals; (2) care about those values, aims, or goals; (3) act in accordance with those values, aims, or goals; (4) trust the testimony of other group members with respect to those values, aims, and goals; and (5) feel a sense of belonging to the group. It argues that the trait of group solidarity isn’t always a virtue. For the trait of solidarity to be a virtue, the group’s aims must be good (e.g., morally or epistemically), and the group must exercise good judgment, which reigns in excesses of the trait of solidarity. Without good judgment, too much solidarity can result in (or constitute) epistemic vices, e.g., mindless outsourcing, uncritical deference and conformity, self-silencing, and epistemic stagnation.
Sponsored by SURC.