Fans, Crimes and Misdemeanors: Fandom and the Ethics of Love

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Abstract

Is it permissible to be a fan of an artist or a sports team that has behaved immorally? While this issue has recently been the subject of widespread public debate, it has received little attention in the philosophical literature. This paper will investigate this issue by examining the nature and ethics of fandom. I will argue that the crimes and misdemeanors of the object of fandom provide three kinds of moral reasons for fans to abandon their fandom. First, being a fan of the immoral may provide support for their immoral behavior. Second, fandom alters our perception in ways that will often lead us to be fail to perceive our idol’s faults and even to adopting immoral points of view in order to be able to maintain the positive view we have of them. Third, fandom, like friendship, may lead us to engage in acts of loyalty to protect the interests of our idols. This gives fans of the immoral good reason to abandon their fandom. However, these reasons will not always be conclusive and, in some cases, it may be possible to instead adopt a critical form of fandom.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of Ethics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021

Keywords

  • love
  • fandom
  • Ethics of love
  • philosophy of sport
  • ethics of fame
  • ethics of fandom

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