Saturday, December 15, 2012

Radical Honesty: Philosophy in Action Podcast

By Diana Hsieh

In the 9 December 2012 episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I discussed radical honesty, and I thought it might be of interest. The question was:

Should people be 'radically honest'? Psychotherapist Brad Blanton claims that people should be "radically honest" – meaning that they should say what they think all the time. Is that a life-serving policy – or simply an excuse for rudeness? For example, if my friend is telling me a story that I don't care to hear, should I tell her of my disinterest? Would that foster a more authentic and valuable relationship? Should I try to gently signal my disinterest? Or should I try to cultivate some interest in her story? In other words, is tact a value – or a destructive form of pretense?
My Answer, In Brief: "Radical Honesty" is not a way to practice the virtue of honesty. It's a destructive rule requiring a person to share every stray thought or feeling – meaning that a person must be a rude, creepy bore without any privacy.

Download or Listen to My Full Answer:

Tags: Communication, Emotions, Ethics, Honesty, Psycho-Epistemology, Relationships Relevant Links:To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread. A podcast of the full episode – where I answered questions on nihilism, radical honesty, poor effort in a terrible job, and more – is available as a podcast here: Episode of 9 December 2012. Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap.

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