Kant and Maria Von Herbert: Reticence vs. deception

Philosophy 81 (3):417-444 (2006)

James Mahon
Lehman College (CUNY)
This article argues for a distinction between reticence and lying, on the basis of what Kant says about reticence in his correspondence with Maria von Herbert, as well as in his other ethical writings, and defends this distinction against the objections of Rae Langton ("Duty and Desolation", 1992). I argue that lying is necessarily deceptive, whereas reticence is not necessarily deceptive. Allowing another person to remain ignorant of some matter is a form of reticence that is not deceptive. This form of reticence may be ethically permissible.
Keywords Kant  Maria von Herbert  Rae Langton  Lies  Reticent  Deception  Ignorance
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DOI 10.1017/S0031819106317020
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Skyrms on the Possibility of Universal Deception.Don Fallis - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (2):375-397.
Langton on Duty and Desolation.Rolf George - 2009 - Kantian Review 14 (1):123-128.

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