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Is It Virtuous to Love Truth and Hate Falsehood?
journal contributionposted on 2023-11-03, 05:23 authored by David CoadyDavid Coady
There is a great deal of academic literature, much of it coming from the social sciences and from social epistemology, which presents itself as addressing a very general problem: the problem of excessive falsehood. Falsehood comes in two general forms: false statements and false beliefs. Of course, falsehood, in both these forms, has always been with us, but it is often supposed to be on the rise. I will argue that there is no new or growing problem of excessive falsehood (variously referred to as the problem of “misinformation” or “fake news”). Furthermore, we should reject the very idea that falsehood as such is a problem, and hence we should reject the idea of coming up with public policy responses to this so-called problem. I argue that the idea that falsehood is a problem is a natural consequence of the idea that it is virtuous to love truth and hate falsehood. I argue that, although there are several virtues related to truth (such as the intellectual virtue of curiosity and the moral virtue of honesty), a love of truth and hatred of falsehood are not themselves virtues.
What is knowable in science and elsewhere? A cross-disciplinary approach to distinguishing science from scientism. : University of Tasmania
Department/SchoolPhilosophy and Gender Studies
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