What Are Some Good Examples Of Intellectual Honesty?

Intellectual Honesty means, in practice, that  in any argumentative or persuasive discourse, when given an incentive for deception, either of yourself and/or others, that you avoid such deception at all times.   Or more simply, arguing to win, or to avoid blame, rather than arguing in pursuit of objective truth. 

And objective truth means, that among peers, citizens or shareholders, that you will self benefit, at a cost to others through deception.


1. Morality. 
Morality is the term we use for stealing from, or failing to contribute to, the commons. Morals are, universally,  a normative portfolio of prohibitions  on stealing from the commons.  Where the commons can be defined as anything from physical property, to the habituated common property that we call ‘norms’.  Incentives then, can come from more than selfish benefits. In other words, morality varies by the various definitions of the commons.  Notoriously conservatives place high value on the normative commons, and progressives discount it entirely.

2) Externalities
In any debate, (economics and politics in particular) there are unknowns.  In economics we know must less than economists suggest with their arguments.  We only have reasonably good data since 1945, and arguably, all economic data from that point onward is simply the effect of US Military and commercial dominance working its way across the world.  And nothing else.  Secondly, there are siginficant ways in which our societies are impacted, and some of them are positive (risk taking) and some of them are negative (fragility, overbreeding, overconsumption). These are called externalities. Since externalities actually benefit some and harm others, and since these benefits and harms favor different political groups, policies are a source of conflict. Because these matters are complicated, even the best (nobel prize winners included) often confuse a preference with a truth.

3) So, intellectual honesty requires consideration of
a) your ignorance vs knowledge
b) your likelihood of error in reasoning
c) your personal incentive to fool yourself or others
d) your preferences for moral biases.
e) your preferences for externalities
The problem with most intellectual debates is a failure to account for the full scope of a thru e.

4. Antiquated Language.
The term ‘intellectual honesty’ is somewhat confusing. That is because our language is still antiquated. Our language is stil antiquated because we use moral terms with religious origins that rely upon norms, rather than propertarian terms with commercial origins that rely upon property.  Even when our morals are, universally, statements about property.  When we use propertarian terms, we can remove the obscurity of moral language, and see the voluntary and involuntary transfers that occur in any interaction between humans.  Propertarian language is to morality, as the language of physical science is to human perception.  Human emotions are reactions to changes in the state of property. And human political conflict is a reaction to changes in the perceived ‘fair’ definitions of property.  And definitinos of fair property are determined by reproductive behavior and signaling, and therefore vary by class and gender.

5. Propertarian Language – Paying for right of free speech
In Propertarianism we would argue that intellectual honesty means that you forgo the opportunity to use deception, and suppress the human natural instinct for deception, and thereby pay for your right of free speech.  As such free speech is property, gained through constant payment, by forgoing opportunities for self benefit – including the most simplistic psychic rewards from winning arguments, to the most sophisticated achievement of wealth and power.



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