Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Marianna Bergamaschi Ganapini


Amy Olberding, ethics, civil, uncivil, morality


Amy Olberding is a Philosopher who concentrates her research on ethical aspects of ordinary life. In her recent publication, “The Wrong of Rudeness,” she discusses what draws individuals to rudeness and incivility. She addresses the question of whether there is societal value in uncivil behavior. Olberding argues against insisting upon civility and contends that it can be acceptable to break societal norms and convey disrespect if it brings about a higher moral good. Olberding labels this behavior “righteous incivility.” A concern with “righteous civility” is that it invites moral relativism. Olberding’s response to this concern is epistemic humility, which recognizes that the world is interpreted by the observer and one should instead focus on learning to live with those around you without resorting to incivility. I will argue that epistemic humility is ineffective in achieving a higher moral good in situations that require rudeness and incivility.



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.