Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (2):355-371 (2020)

Authors
Christian Miller
Wake Forest University
Abstract
The virtue of honesty has been stunningly neglected in contemporary philosophy, with only two papers appearing in the last 40 years. The first half of this paper is a conceptual exploration of one aspect of the virtue, namely the honest person’s motivational profile. I argue that egoistic motives for telling the truth or not cheating are incompatible with honest motivation. At the same time, there is no one specific motive that is required for a person to be motivated in a virtuously honest way. Instead I advance a pluralistic theory of honest motivation, which allows for motives of caring, fairness, and virtue, among others. The second half of the paper then turns briefly to the empirical literature in psychology and behavioral economics on cheating, to see to what extent honest motives appear to be operative. The upshot is that we have good preliminary evidence for the claim that most people are not virtuously honest.
Keywords Honesty  Character  Virtue  Vice  Egoism  Motivation  Duty
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s10677-019-10055-1
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,740
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

On Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
The Schizophrenia of Modern Ethical Theories.Michael Stocker - 1976 - Journal of Philosophy 73 (14):453-466.

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Are Most of Us Honest People? Or Dishonest? Or Neither?Christian Miller - 2015 - In Artur Szutta & Natasza Szutta (eds.), W poszukiwaniu moralnego charakteru. Academicon Publishing House. pp. 103-145.
Honesty.Christian Miller - 2017 - In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Christian Miller (eds.), Moral Psychology, Volume V: Virtue and Character. Cambridge: MIT Press. pp. 237-273.
Honesty Revisited: More Conceptual and Empirical Reflections.Christian Miller - 2017 - In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Christian Miller (eds.), Moral Psychology, Volume V: Virtue and Character. Cambridge: MIT Press. pp. 295-307.
Virtuous Motivation.Karen Stohr - 2018 - In Nancy Snow (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Virtue. New York, NY, USA: pp. 453-469.
Honesty, Cheating, and Character in College.Christian Miller - 2013 - Journal of College and Character:213-222.
How Bad Can Good People Be?Nancy E. Schauber - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (4):731-745.
On Morality's Having a Point.D. Z. Phillips & H. O. Mounce - 1965 - Philosophy 40 (154):308 - 319.
Some Complexities of Categorizing Character Traits.Christian B. Miller - 2019 - In Elisa Grimi, John Haldane, Maria Margarita Mauri Alvarez, Michael Wladika, Marco Damonte, Michael Slote, Randall Curren, Christian B. Miller, Liezl Zyl, Christopher D. Owens, Scott J. Roniger, Michele Mangini, Nancy Snow & Christopher Toner (eds.), Virtue Ethics: Retrospect and Prospect. Springer. pp. 81-98.
Pragmatic Platonism.George T. Hole - 2004 - Teaching Philosophy 27 (1):33-44.
The Unity of Virtue.John M. Cooper - 1998 - Social Philosophy and Policy 15 (1):233-274.
The Unity of Virtue*: JOHN M. COOPER.John M. Cooper - 1998 - Social Philosophy and Policy 15 (1):233-274.
The Virtues of God and the Foundations of Ethics.Linda Zagzebski - 1998 - Faith and Philosophy 15 (4):538-553.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2020-01-02

Total views
59 ( #185,340 of 2,462,864 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #144,426 of 2,462,864 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes