XI KANT KONGRESS, XI Congresso Kantiano Internazionale

Communicability and the Public Misuse of Communication: Kant on the Pathologies of Testimony

Axel Gelfert

Edificio: Palazzo dei Congressi
Sala: sala Diderot
Data: 24 maggio 2010 - 14:30
Ultima modifica: 13 aprile 2010


Building on recent work on Kant's epistemology of testimony, the present paper analyses a class of problems that arise for the ethics of communication. This class, which I shall call "pathologies of testimony" (following a recent suggestion by C.A.J. Coady), comprises ethically problematic kinds of communication, such as gossip, rumour, and defamation. By drawing on specific discussions in Kant's work, of ethical failures of the speech act of testifying, I propose a tentative criterion for when such cases ought to invite ethical suspicion. A "pathology of testimony", I argue, is any type of overtly informative speech act that disrespects another person in their capacity as a rational being.