Analogous to freedom of speech, one supposes that everyone is entitled to express their opinions concerning the character of any person. However, my personal view is that it is reprehensible for a group of people to indulge in an overt celebration of the death of a person - especially in the presence of bereaved members of her family. I have in mind the recent death of erstwhile British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, whose family would probably have seen TV news shots of revellers in Glasgow opening bottles of champagne in ribald celebration of her death.
I noted that a prominent political opponent of Mrs Thatcher commented that this behaviour was despicable.
I would like to know whether it is feasible/permmissible/desirable for a philosopher to provide objective guidance on the propriety or otherwise of this behaviour?
Interesting question! I don't know about giving 'objective' guidance, but it does seem to me that on the scale of despicable or reprehensible actions, this one would be pretty low, if on the scale at all! It also seems reasonable to me to suppose that very public figures -- in particular politicians, whose actions affect large masses of people directly and indirectly -- ARE appropriate objects of (civil) scorn, both in life and in death. Perhaps it isn't exactly tasteful to cheer the death of a hated political figure, but I just don't see that it's actually wrong. Is it insensitive to the bereaved family? Possibly, but then you might argue that the politician's choice to live that public light automatically puts the person's family in the position to see explicitly how people feel about him/her. Of course, there might be some distinction made between current/retired politicians too -- given how long PM Thatcher has been out of office, how old she was, etc., it might be less acceptable to cheer her...