Sandy Grant

Philosopher , University of Cambridge

Sandy Grant is a philosopher who teaches at the University of Cambridge. She grew up in the countryside and attended one of England’s cathedral schools before going off to study at Queens’ College, Cambridge. After taking several degrees she started teaching at the University in 1994 as Munro Fellow at Queens’ and giving lectures for undergraduates. In her subsequent academic career she worked principally in Cambridge and London, achieving her goal of having both a Professorial Chair and a baby by the age of forty. Sandy recently became the first philosopher to perform at Latitude Festival. She has also appeared on programmes such as BBC Radio 4’s ‘Start the Week’ and ‘Woman’s Hour’ and regularly writes for publications such as Aeon and Quartz. Her chief philosophical interests have long been to do with an array of questions about freedom.

Written by Sandy Grant

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Showing off is easy to condemn, but is it always bad?

Sandy Grant

Hello Corrie, Ted, Jo, Sasha and Richard.

Many thanks for reading the article and I am very grateful for all the comments, and the time taken to send them in. You’ve raised a bunch of great ideas and asked some cracking questions and so thanks too for those. I shall try to give some replies.

First a wee bit of clarification: in the article I do not presume that showing off is bad by definition. I also avoid the view that in usage the phrase is pejorative since it is not necessarily so. What is necessary is just the notion of doing something in order to attract another’s admiration. I am showing off *if and only if* I do x in order to get y’s admiration.

I was interest...

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