Intellectual honesty

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Intellectual honesty is an applied method of problem solving, characterized by an unbiased, honest attitude, which can be demonstrated in a number of different ways:

  • One's personal beliefs do not interfere with the pursuit of truth;
  • Relevant facts and information are not purposefully omitted even when such things may contradict one's hypothesis;
  • Facts are presented in an unbiased manner, and not twisted to give misleading impressions or to support one view over another;
  • References, or earlier work, are acknowledged where possible, and plagiarism is avoided.

Harvard ethicist Louis M. Guenin describes the "kernel" of intellectual honesty to be "a virtuous disposition to eschew deception when given an incentive for deception."[1]

Intentionally committed fallacies in debates and reasoning are called intellectual dishonesty.

See also


  1. "Candor in Science", Synthese, Vol. 145, No. 2 (June 2005), p. 179.

Further reading

  • Wiener, N. (November 1964). "Intellectual Honesty and the Contemporary Scientist". American Behavioral Scientist. 8 (3): 15.
  • Toledo-Pereyra, Luis H. (May 2002). "Intellectual Honesty". Journal of Investigative Surgery, (15): 113-114.