Temporal Dimensions of Hypocrisy

By Lars Thøger Christensen.

Hypocrisy is a serious charge for social actors, especially organizations and politicians, whose profession depends on perceptions of sincerity and credibility. To call someone a hypocrite is to challenge his or her moral integrity and to indicate that the object of the accusation cannot be trusted. In spite of their seriousness, however, hypocrisy charges are frequent occurrences in public debate. Whereas the notion of hypocrisy used to refer specifically to the practice of engaging in the very same immoral behavior for which one castigates other actors, today it is likely to be mobilized whenever gaps, imbalances …