[Ads-l] Early Examples of "Virtue Signaling" or "Virtue Signalling"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jan 18 14:27:36 EST 2021


On his Word Spy site, Paul McFedries cited a 2004 example from a Something
Awful forum post:

---
https://www.wordspy.com/index.php?word=virtue-signalling
Virtue signaling at its most pedestrian.
--Al Cowens, “guy walking behind a kkk parade playing a tuba,” Something
Awful, August 11, 2004
---

The link to Something Awful is dead, but it's still available via Internet
Archive:

https://web.archive.org/web/20170306132557/http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3732220&userid=61048

Mark Peters mentioned this example in his 2015 Boston Globe column on
"virtue signaling":

https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2015/12/24/virtue-signaling-and-other-inane-platitudes/YrJRcvxYMofMcCfgORUcFO/story.html

--bgz


On Mon, Jan 18, 2021 at 2:17 PM James Eric Lawson <jel at nventure.com> wrote:

> Another Bulbulia article from a 2010 book: Religious Culture and
> Cooperative Prediction under Risk: Perspectives from Social
> Neuroscience, Joseph Bulbulia and Uffe Schjoedt; in Religion, Economy,
> and Cooperation, Ilkka Pyysiäinen, Walter de Gruyter, Jul 30, 2010.
>
> "This means that pious expressions provide a medium in which partners
> may express and evaluate genuine moral commitments. Importantly then,
> costly signalling holds that both the conservation of religion and its
> apparent irrationality can be accounted for by a single model, one that
> combines moral policing with virtue signalling."
>
>
> https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=thAzhaIbiHMC&oi=fnd&pg=PA35&dq=%22virtue+signalling%22&ots=PFyplsCZqF&sig=Q-bWB_uX1-IYwG9TY6MDXIhA7tE#v=onepage&q=%22virtue%20signalling%22&f=false
>
> On 1/18/21 7:29 AM, Baker, John wrote:
> > Here is slightly earlier. From Joseph Bulbulia, Spreading Order:
> Religion, Cooperative Niche Construction, and Risky Coordination Problems,
> Biology & Philosophy (Jan. 2012) (Gale Academic OneFile):  “Other cultural
> evolutionary models show that prestige and success biases may combine with
> imitative learning and virtue-signalling to favour religious cultural
> transmission (Henrich 2009).”
> >
> > Although there is a 2012 cover date, the actual publication date is
> earlier. The article includes the following: “Received: 25 October
> 2010/Accepted: 27 September 2011/Published online: 25 October 2011.”
> >
> > The Henrich 2009 source is listed in the bibliography as Henrich J
> (2009) The evolution of costly displays, cooperation, and
> religion:credibility enhancing displays and their implications for cultural
> evolution. Evol Human Behav 30:244-260. So possibly that would have an
> earlier use.
> >
> >
> > John Baker
> >
> >
> > On Jan 18, 2021, at 8:26 AM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu>
> wrote:
> >
> > 
> > External Email - Think Before You Click
> >
> >
> >
> > I am trying to find examples of the term "virtue signaling" or "virtual
> signalling" earlier than 2012. Can anyone identify any such examples?
> >
> >
>

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