Khyjkhv; Hik


Diogenes tried to find an honest man in Athens with a lantern, but he did not fare well.   Today he might engage in the same search, perhaps strengthened with electronic gear but it is unlikely that he would have more success than on his earlier tour.   Honesty is a many-faceted and tantalizing concept.   Most people agree that honesty is a good thing.   Yet we encounter so many breaches. People would rarely denounce honesty, but have great difficulties embodying this attitude, especially in times of crisis and social-political turmoil.   Alternatively, honesty gives place to corruption often in times of indifference and lack of concern with interpersonal transactions.   Honesty is not one of the goods. It is not interchangeable and is often not seen a mere instrumental value.   In this paper I defend the view that honesty has both intrinsic and instrumental value.   Thus it resembles other fundamental values like health or wisdom. Honesty is a character constituent, but we often ask also what its value is, forgetting that this question can be asked only once we fixed what items we regard as useful, and why.
In this paper we take up honesty because its contrast with the opposite, namely corruption, sheds a lot of light on the latter.   Corruption is, however, today a global problem, emerging in a variety of cultures.   Thus it is advisable to place honesty into the context of a general view on human nature.   We shall argue that being an agent is an essen­tial ingredient of human nature.   Then we will argue that though honesty is not an essential ingredient of human agency, it is an essential part of the good human agent. Within this specification we use ‘good’ in a general not exclusively moral sense. As we explain later, this is the same sense of ‘good' that we use to talk about a good knife, a good mathematical solution, or a good friendship.   After a brief but sharp analysis of honesty, we shall turn to an...