A Year Without Lying: The Complete Kant Experience

In today’s Guardian in the G2 magazine there was an article about a man who plans to live for a year without lying. He is following the principals of the Philosopher Immanuel Kant who believed that telling lies was always morally wrong.

Cathal Morrow the man who sent himslef this challenge is attempting to uphold Kant’s philosophy and live without lying. Morrow who gave up his job in IT recruitment to write a novel see it published has so far been unsuccessful in his endeavours. However, for his new novel instead of using the traditional avenues of sending out his manscript to various publishers he used interactive media to find a publisher.

He visted the European social networking site ‘A Small World’ and found a publisher who was willing to finance his idea in return to half the profits of the book.

What I found interesting about this article that he used a social networking as his starting point in trying to find a publisher. 

Marrow’s experiences can be followed on The Complete Kant website.


5 thoughts on “A Year Without Lying: The Complete Kant Experience

  1. Tuesday, October 7, 3008

    British prankster Cathal Morrow plans to live in “no-lie” zone for a year. Rubbish! This is a complete non-story reported by an irresponsible Guardian

    Is it possible to live for a year without lying?

    — British man plans to try to find out, but is he telling the truth?

    by Emmanuelle KANT

    RONDON — Newspapers these days are full of unchecked and under-reported stories
    that later turn out to be not true. People call up a reporter and tell
    them they are going to do such and such, an incredible feat, and then
    the reporter duly writes the story up and it goes live on the Web for
    all the world to read, and then later, one never knows if the story
    panned out. About ten percent of what we read in the newspapers these
    days turns out to be fake news. Unchecked news. News that was never

    It’s easy to do. You hire a good PR agent, he or she plants the story
    in an unsuspecting newspaper in Britain or the USA, the blogosphere
    picks it up, and boom, a new world-historial hero artist is born. But
    these stories sometimes turn out not to be completely true. Well,
    maybe, at the beginning, the plan was a good one, but the execution of
    the idea sometimes lags way behind reality. However, we never read
    about these failed PR stories. We only get the positive spin at the
    beginning, the book deal, the possible movie deal, it all sounds so
    exciting and real. But was it? Is all of what we read in the
    newspapers true?

    Case in point. A newspaper in Britain, which shall go nameless for now
    — and the UK is famous for publishing fake news stories that later
    turn out to be completely untrue — although they make for good
    reading! — a newspaper in London is now reporting that a bloke in
    Spain, but a British bloke, “plans” to go a whole year without lying.
    A noble cause, a noble project. His name is Cathal Morrow. Google the
    news to read between the lines here.

    Mr Morrow, 42, married and with two small children to support, “says”
    he plans to write a book about his year-long experiment, and he has
    already thought of a title: “The Complete Kant.”

    Hint, hint: Immanuel Kant, the philospher. Or should that be Emanuelle Kant?

    – Hide quoted text –

    Of course, the
    newspaper does not tell us that Mr Morrow does not have a “publisher”
    yet for his “unwritten” book, but who cares about those small details.
    The news value of a hypeable story is paramount here.

    Long live the tabloidization of our news, with great asissts from the
    Internet. Right?

    “The philosopher Immanuel Kant believed that telling lies was always
    morally wrong. But is it possible to live without telling a single lie
    for a whole year?” asks the Guardian writer in his first paragraph.
    “That is the task that Cathal Morrow has set himself and he will let
    us know next year if it is possible, when he has finished his book on
    the experiment, to be called ‘The Complete Kant’.”

    Movie rights, anyone? Sell the idea to Hollywood, even if the feat is
    never actually carried out? Fifteen minutes of fame, multipled by all
    the extra hours one gets now from the Internet and the blogosphere?
    It’s a great story. But is it true?

    Morrow used to be the managing director of an IT recruitment company,
    but quit seven years ago to write a novel about a photocopier salesman
    who is perfecting a formula for finding his true self, Duncan
    Campbell, the news enabler writes in his tabloidy story, adding:
    “Despite appreciative initial responses, he never found a publisher
    [for the book].”

    So Mr Morrowe hits on the idea of a philosophical exploration of the
    notion of truth, we learn. Noble calling, yes. Unable once more to
    find a publisher, he has a novel idea: put a synopsis of the book on a
    European social networking site called ‘A Small World’, seek backers
    who will finance him for a year’s writing in exchange for half of the
    profits of the book, the Guardian reporter tells us. And then the
    kicker: “A private equity company responded and has now agreed to
    finance ‘Morrow] for a year.”

    However, we never learn the name of this so-called private equity
    company, and we never learn how much they will spot Mr Morrow in his
    “no-lie zone”, and we never never is this is the real deal or just
    another Internet fantasy idea that will never pan out? I’m not sure.
    I’m hedging my bets.

    Morrow does tell the reporter one important character trait that is
    worth watching here. “[It is]… the realisation of how much I lie to
    myself, and what a tenuous grasp I have of the notion of truth,”
    Morrow tells Campell, who duly writes it all down for posterity.

    Oh, and another kicker here: “Since his first chapter is now online,
    at thecompletekant.com, you can let him know how you think he’s doing
    so far.” See? The book already has a first chapter, literary agents
    can read it and bid for the publishing rights, movie agents can come
    calling, it’s all in the cards.

    But is any of this really true? Will Mr Morrow ever finish his book
    about “Kant”? Did he ever plan to write a book, or was this all a PR
    ploy to get some money from backers and potential publishers without
    lifting a finger?

    I predict, and I am often wrong, so don’t hang me for this, but I
    predict that Mr Morrow will never write that book, that he will not
    stay in the “no-lie zone” for a year, and that his propensity, as he
    himself admits, for having a tenuous grasp of the notion of truth and
    of lying to himself, of all people, will do him in. No lie.

    Follow this story for a year. Let’s see what “The Complete Kant” is all about.

    In his defense, Mr Morrow says on his blog:

    “The philosopher Immanuel Kant said that lying was always morally wrong.
    I am attempting to go a whole year without telling a single lie. But much more than that I’m looking for some kind of truth [INCOME?] to keep me going for the next 40 years or so, and to pass on to my kids. Karl Marx said – and I misquote – “Philosophy is bollocks because it doesn’t change anything.” I disagree. I think it may well be able to give me the direction I so desperately need.
    Well, that’s the plan anyway. As is to turn my journey into a (published) book. “

  2. and now Mr Ed, the CEO of the benfactor for this book idea writes from his blackbeery ”

    > Thank you for the kind mail.
    > It is very much a real project and a serious subject. I seems since the release that so many people have an issue with the simple truth, this shows the importance of the study and the subsequent book.

    dear Emmanuelle Kant
    > I am the private equity fund and had you viewed my site from my email address you will see who we are. We fund many projects and this is one.
    > Cathal was in contact with the guardian prior to the news release but fail to see the relevance of this no one is trying to hide anything, simply undertake an exercise in the truth.
    > I am glad you find the topic of interest and look forward to your thoughts when you have read the book next year.
    > Yours
    > Edward Fitzpatrick
    > Thaler.li

    > Sent from my BlackBerry(R) wireless device

  3. to which i replied:

    politely of course

    Dear Mr Fitzpatrick,

    Yo, thanks for heads up and email. Yes, in fact, I do love what you
    and Cathal are doing, it’s a very good and useful educational
    experiment and I wish you both luck with it and I hope it succeeds.
    Really, despite my tone earlier, and even now, I remain deeply
    suspicious about how this
    “news item” made it into print in the prestigious non tabloidy paper
    like the Guardian, but maybe Duncan is a close friend from PR days
    with Catha. Most likely. I know how these things operate, and nothing
    happens over the transom, cold calling. This was a plant, and the
    truth will come out. And then somebody will have egg on their face,
    most likely ME…….hehe….I do make wrongheaded mistakes very
    often…..and I will humbly aplogize when proven wrong….but for now,
    I must keep the pressure on: all in fun, of course, I love this story,
    i just don’t like the way the Guardian wrote it ip, not disclosing
    your part in the story for example, not naming Thayer Fund and not
    saying how much you are gonna fund Catha. So mate, tell me, how much
    are you gonna fund him for a year? US$25,000? Have you written one
    check yet for him? I doubt it.

    This is all a PR ploy to get a book and movie and TV reality
    show…..How do I know? I am one of the best PR mavens in the world,
    and I have done my sharing of media shopping. In fact, if Catha had
    come to me with the idea, I could have done the PR for him just like
    you did. Pay the 80 dollars for the paid press release from
    PRNEWS.com, and use my friendship with Duncan to get the faux story in
    the press. When the truth comes out, about how you guys sort of fibbed
    your way into print with the story…..and great PR job by the
    way…..you will lose all credibility. Catha has none to lose, but you
    do. Maybe you disagree.

    I love this idea of a truth test for a year. But you are going about
    it the wrong way….the right way would be to have started it without
    the blog or press release, with little or no fanfare, and let six
    months go by by tesing it out first, and THEN there is a good news
    story…but you started the hype without even starting the project.
    ….that’s fake faux PR……and shame on you both.

    i do find the topic interesting, and I am a good sport, i have a life,
    i am not jealous, i am having the time of my life in my own life, but
    i smell a skunk here. I am waiting for Catha to reply to me, and
    Duncan. Duncan is the culprint here, not you or Catha. he is sloppy
    lazy journo taking a press release and reprinting almost verbatim. And
    now he goes on vacation for two weeks, how convenient…

    Check out my blog. I will be watching you guys, but all in the spirit
    of good fun, and I DO LIKE your project, yes….i just don’t like the
    way the Guardian reported it. This is a book movie project looking
    for a deal….masquerading as NEWS…….not news…..pure savvy

    My guess is that Catha worked for you before in IT…right? that is
    what i heard online.

    Can you explain, Ed, how you know Catha in the first place amd he sent
    his chapter to you if he didn’t know you at all……I SMELL A RAT


    just having fun

    and you are too….so cool!

    Please understand my intentions are good and healthy and not
    harmful…I just want the public to know the whole truth……..no

    hey, i like that phrase i coined…..”the no-lie zone” of Catha
    Morrow, like the no fly zone in Iraq…….

    Cheers, mate, and may all your tomorrows be sweet!

    Emmanuelle, not X rated…….just Truth rated

  4. Webmasster blogger

    NOTE, you are wrong here, you did not read the Guardian closely

    you say He visted the European social networking site ‘A Small World’ TRUE and found a publisher NOT TRUE…he found a sponsor, a PR partner…….who was ALLEGEDLY willing …show me the MONEY!,,,how much did he pay Catha so far…..to finance his idea in return to half the profits of the book. WHAT

    What I found interesting about this article that he used a social networking as his starting point in trying to find a publisher.

  5. Webmasster blogger

    NOTE, you are wrong here, you did not read the Guardian closely

    you say He visted the European social networking site ‘A Small World’ TRUE and found a publisher NOT TRUE…he found a sponsor, a PR partner…….who was ALLEGEDLY willing …show me the MONEY!,,,how much did he pay Catha so far…..to finance his idea in return to half the profits of the book. WHAT BOOK? there is No Book. this is all a PR ply to get a book conttract or movie rights deal or TV reality show deal via the publicity in blogs and newspapers….see?

    “What I found interesting about this article that he used a social networking as his starting point in trying to find a publisher. ” WRONG

    he used the soc site to plant his PR story in the media, when in fact, there is no story here yet…..better would have been to do the experiment for a year, write about it, get the book published and then DO media and PR…but no he is going about it ass backwards…

    this is total bullocks


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