Summer Seminar

“The Virtue of Honesty: New Perspectives and Empirical Discoveries”

July 12-22, 2023
Wake Forest University

Seminar Leader

Dr. Christian B. Miller
A.C. Reid Professor of Philosophy
Director, The Honesty Project
Past Director, The Character Project

Main Goal of the Seminar

The goal of the seminar is to engage with the latest work on the philosophy and the psychology of honesty so that participants can better advance future research on honesty themselves and also improve their teaching in the area.

Seminar Description

An eight-day seminar will be held for 15 participants at Wake Forest University in the summer to 2023. The seminar will cover much of the latest work on the philosophy and psychology of honesty, and will engage with questions such as:

  1. What is the definition and value of honesty in its moral and intellectual forms? What are the behavioral and motivational requirements for being honest or exceptionally so?
  2. To what extent are people honest? How does this vary by culture?
  3. What contextual and internal factors encourage honesty and shape its development in individuals, groups, organizations, and institutions?
  4. What are the consequences of honesty and dishonesty for relationships, groups, organizations, and institutions?
  5. Under what conditions is dishonesty justified, if any? What factors lead people to be receptive to or offended by honesty?

Potential Readings

Tom Carson, Lying and Deception: Theory and Practice
Christian Miller, Honesty: The Philosophy and Psychology of a Neglected Virtue Selection of Articles from Psychology and Philosophy

Seminar meetings are expected to last roughly three hours per day, and will conclude on Thursday so that all participants can attend the Honesty Project Final Conference on July 20-22. Participants will have their travel, meal, reading material, and lodging costs covered during the 8 days of the seminar and the 3 days of the conference. They will be housed at the Graylyn Conference Center ( www.graylyn.com ), one of the nicest facilities in the entire country.

Application Deadline: January 2, 2023.

Application Instructions

Participation is limited to graduate students, post-docs, or faculty who have had their Ph.D. for ten years or less. Participants must be trained in philosophy or religion/theology, but can be doing work in any area of philosophy or religion/theology. A background in virtue ethics or the philosophy of character is definitely not required.

Please send a CV and a cover letter with (i) contact information and (ii) a discussion of your interest in and background familiarity with the topics of this seminar, to honesty@wfu.edu on or before January 2, 2023. The cover letter should be no longer than two pages single spaced. If you do not receive an acknowledgement of your submission within one week, please write to millerc@wfu.edu. Applicants will be chosen on the basis of demonstrated interest and likelihood of future productivity.

Requirements for the Seminar

  1. Participants are expected to arrive by Tuesday, July 11, and to depart no earlier than Sunday, July 23, 2023 unless exceptional circumstances arise.
  2. Participants are expected to attend and actively participate in the final Honesty Project conference on July 20-22. All expenses associated with the conference will be covered.
  3. Participants are expected to notify the Honesty Project at honesty@wfu.edu of any publications and presentations during the subsequent three years which benefitted from participation in the seminar.

Any questions should be sent to honesty@wfu.edu.

Funded by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation.