As a philosopher I often write about conversation, including conversational norms (see the first post on this blog). I think this is interesting and important, because conversation is one of the most important things we can do with one another. But I'd be lying if I said that I thought conversational norms were the most important thing facing us. Yet there is a section of mainstream intellectual discourse that cannot stop talking about their own conversation, including what is or ought to be looked down on or rejected and what not. There is danger in this.
Every now and again, I see accusations of "bad faith". How important is this as a criticism? When someone acts in "bad faith", what, exactly, are they doing? should they stop? and what should we do when we come to suspect it of a potential interlocutor? In answering these questions, I'll also argue that we should stop using the phrase at all.