Service interruption on Monday 11 July from 12:30 to 13:00: all the sites of the CCSD (HAL, EpiSciences, SciencesConf, AureHAL) will be inaccessible (network hardware connection).
Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

A justification of whistleblowing

Abstract : Whistleblowing is the act of disclosing information from a public or private organization in order to reveal cases of corruption that are of immediate or potential danger to the public. Blowing the whistle involves personal risk, especially when legal protection is absent, and charges of betrayal, which often come in the form of legal prosecution under treason laws. In this article we argue that whistleblowing is justified when disclosures are made with the proper intent and fulfill specific communicative constraints in addressing issues of public interest. Three communicative constraints of informativeness, truthfulness and evidence are discussed in this regard. We develop a ‘harm test’ to assess the intent for disclosures, concluding that it is not sufficient for justification. Along with the proper intent, a successful act of whistleblowing should provide information that serves the public interest. Taking cognizance of the varied conceptions of public interest, we present an account of public interest that fits the framework of whistleblowing disclosures. In particular, we argue that whistleblowing is justified inter alia when the information it conveys is of a presumptive interest for a public insofar as it reveals an instance of injustice or violation of a civil or political right done against and unbeknown to some members of a polity.
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Elisabeth Lhuillier Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 5:47:26 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, November 4, 2021 - 11:58:07 AM

Links full text



Manohar M Kumar, Daniele Santoro. A justification of whistleblowing. Philosophy and Social Criticism, SAGE Publications, 2017, 43 (7), pp.669 - 684. ⟨10.1177/0191453717708469⟩. ⟨hal-01685854⟩



Record views