Is truth inherent in honesty? In other words, may we establish a correlation, an isomorphism if you will, a functor, perhaps a forgetful one? Between truth and honesty?

Pardon me, this question is very abstractly stated.

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    Have you tried defining both 'truth' and 'honesty'? – labreuer Feb 20 '15 at 19:28

It depends on how you define honesty and truth.

If Y says it's sunny outside (because Y believes this), but it's cloudy, then is Y telling the truth? Y's claim does not accord with the objective state of affairs, yet it accords with Y's subjective one.

This is key because honesty is the tendency to tell the truth, yet this tendency personalizes honesty in a way that truth doesn't necessarily do. That is, one can easily talk about truth as an objective measure (X is true or false, no matter what Y thinks), but honesty makes things contingent upon Y's intentions.

Then there's the converse; if Y knows Z doesn't trust him/her, and wishes to deceive Z, then Y can tell the truth. So now is Y being honest?

So I'd say the answer depends on whether you're treating truth as an objective measure. Since most people seem to do so, I'll say that in one interpretation of this question, the answer is no -- truth is not inherent in honesty as truth s objective, while honesty is subjective and tied to intent.


Telling truth is the product of an intention. If the mind of the truth teller is uncluttered by an intent to deceive, he/she is not subject to disapproval, in normal circumstances.

But the intent to tell the truth bears a specious connection to what is actually true.

We are begging questions of epistemology - what it is possible to "know." We shall assume, however tentatively, that there is such a thing as "the truth." A person's intent to tell it, however sincere, is only a guarantee of the teller's intention, nothing more. Experience with the human mind teaches that mistakes are such a commonplace, their absence in our thinking is the exception.

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