On Ethical Candor

Chris Long
4 min readNov 28, 2020
Fall leaves along the banks of the Red Cedar River

There is a line from Seinfeld that cuts to the heart of the distinction between sincerity and ethical candor. In a desperate attempt to beat a polygraph machine, Jerry turns to George, a practiced liar, for advice. As Jerry gets up to leave, George offers this:

Jerry, just remember … it’s not a lie, if you believe it.”

The humor in this lies, I think, in the gap it establishes between sincerity and…

Chris Long

MSU Foundation Professor, Dean of the College of Arts & Letters and of the MSU Honors College; Co-Founder of @PubPhilJ; Co-PI of @HuMetricsHSS.