Norms of Truthfulness and Non-Deception in Kantian Ethics

In Pablo Muchnik Oliver Thorndike (ed.), Rethinking Kant Volume 4. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 111-134 (2015)
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Abstract
Questions about the morality of lying tend to be decided in a distinctive way early in discussions of Kant’s view on the basis of readings of the false promising example in his Groundwork of The metaphysics of morals. The standard deception-as-interference model that emerges typically yields a very general and strong presumption against deception associated with a narrow and rigorous model subject to a range of problems. In this paper, I suggest an alternative account based on Kant’s discussion of self-deception in the Metaphysics of Morals. I argue that we make the concern with respect for our capacity for inner freedom seen in the case of self-deception the model for deception in general. Focusing on the case of paternalistic lying, I claim that this approach yields a subtle and integrated account that promises the kind of resources we need if we are to be able to make headway with hard cases where deception may seem permissible.
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Archival date: 2018-09-12
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2015-10-04

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