Can academics be trusted to be truth-tellers more than the rest of society?

Gibbs, Paul ORCID logoORCID: (2021) Can academics be trusted to be truth-tellers more than the rest of society? In: The University Becoming: Perspectives from Philosophy and Social Theory. Bengtsen, Søren S.E., Robinson, Sarah and Shumar, Wesley, eds. Debating Higher Education: Philosophical Perspectives, 6 . Springer International, Cham Switzerland, pp. 67-77. ISBN 9783030696276, e-ISBN 9783030696283. [Book Section] (doi:10.1007/978-3-030-69628-3_5)


This chapter advocates that a university education and the community that supplies it have, at its core, a mission to enable its communities of scholars (staff and students) to make judgements on what can be trusted and that they, themselves, should have a special duty to seek to be truth-tellers. This is a duty upon which society can rely when formulated in academic statements, being able to trust that academics’ rhetoric avoids deliberate falsehoods. It is predicated on a notion of trust built on the reliability of concepts and actions which, when tested, produce evidence in correspondence with what is proposed as the outcomes. In this sense, truth is both an epistemic reality and of moral concern and the desire to ‘think freely entails that one also desires to think rightly, not for conceptual or psychological reasons, but for moral ones’ (Rider 2018: 39): the former in predicting our realities and the latter in value associated with the intention of the action. In building societally reasoned networks of preference and acceptances of ‘truth’ in this sense, we reveal ourselves both as self-trusting and as trustworthy people.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Part of the Debating Higher Education: Philosophical Perspectives Series (DHEP, volume 6). ISSN: 2366-2573
Research Areas: A. > Centre for Education Research and Scholarship (CERS)
Item ID: 33601
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Depositing User: Paul Gibbs
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2021 17:31
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2021 04:07

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