Deception

Edited by Neri Marsili (Universitat de Barcelona)
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  1. The Culture Industry and Transformation of the Value of Hope.Selda Salman - 2022 - Kultura I Wartości 9 (32):69-78.
    In this paper I point to the degraded value of hope in the contemporary digital world and discuss the dangers of this transformation. Hope constitutes one of the basic drives that sustains vitality in the human species. Especially contemporary philosophers such as Hume, Kant, and Bloch, among others, consider hope from a philosophical perspective and despite their differences, they agree on the overall importance of hope as one of the fundamental motivations of humans towards a future life that makes striving (...)
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  2. Ludic Unreliability and Deceptive Game Design.Stefano Gualeni & Nele Van de Mosselaer - 2021 - Journal of the Philosophy of Games 3 (1):1-22.
    Drawing from narratology and design studies, this article makes use of the notions of the ‘implied designer’ and ‘ludic unreliability’ to understand deceptive game design as a specific sub-set of transgressive game design. More specifically, in this text we present deceptive game design as the deliberate attempt to misguide players’ inferences about the designers’ intentions. Furthermore, we argue that deceptive design should not merely be taken as a set of design choices aimed at misleading players in their efforts to understand (...)
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  3. The Seductions of Clarity.C. Thi Nguyen - 2021 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 89:227-255.
    The feeling of clarity can be dangerously seductive. It is the feeling associated with understanding things. And we use that feeling, in the rough-and-tumble of daily life, as a signal that we have investigated a matter sufficiently. The sense of clarity functions as a thought-terminating heuristic. In that case, our use of clarity creates significant cognitive vulnerability, which hostile forces can try to exploit. If an epistemic manipulator can imbue a belief system with an exaggerated sense of clarity, then they (...)
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  4. The Big Shill.Robert Mark Simpson & Eliot Michaelson - 2020 - Ratio 33 (4):269-280.
    Shills are people who endorse products and companies for pay, while pretending that their endorsements are ingenuous. Here we argue that there is something objectionable about shilling that is not reducible to its bad consequences, the lack of epistemic conscientiousness it often relies upon, or to the shill’s insincerity. Indeed, we take it as a premise of our inquiry that shilling can sometimes be sincere, and that its wrongfulness is not mitigated by the shill’s sincerity, in cases where the shill (...)
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  5. Authenticity, Misunderstanding, and Institutional Responsibility in Contemporary Art.Sherri Irvin - 2019 - British Journal of Aesthetics 59 (3):273-288.
    This paper addresses two questions about audience misunderstandings of contemporary art. First, what is the institution’s responsibility to prevent predictable misunderstandings about the nature of a contemporary artwork, and how should this responsibility be balanced against other considerations? Second, can an institution ever be justified in intentionally mounting an inauthentic display of an artwork, given that such displays are likely to mislead? I will argue that while the institution has a defeasible responsibility to mount authentic displays, this is not always (...)
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  6. Ten Justification Games.Joe Edelman - manuscript
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  7. Poetry and Ethics: Inventing Possibilities in Which We Are Moved to Action and How We Live Together.Obiora Ike, Andrea Grieder & Ignace Haaz (eds.) - 2018 - Geneva, Switzerland: Globethics Publications.
    This book on the topic of ethics and poetry consists of contributions from different continents on the subject of applied ethics related to poetry. It should gather a favourable reception from philosophers, ethicists, theologians and anthropologists from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America and allows for a comparison of the healing power of words from various religious, spiritual and philosophical traditions. The first part of this book presents original poems that express ethical emotions and aphorism related to a philosophical questioning (...)
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  8. Competition as Cooperation.C. Thi Nguyen - 2017 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 44 (1):123-137.
    Games have a complex, and seemingly paradoxical structure: they are both competitive and cooperative, and the competitive element is required for the cooperative element to work out. They are mechanisms for transforming competition into cooperation. Several contemporary philosophers of sport have located the primary mechanism of conversion in the mental attitudes of the players. I argue that these views cannot capture the phenomenological complexity of game-play, nor the difficulty and moral complexity of achieving cooperation through game-play. In this paper, I (...)
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  9. All's Fair in Love and War? Machiavelli and Ang Lee's "Ride With the Devil".James Edwin Mahon - 2013 - In Robert Arp, Adam Barkman & Nancy King (eds.), The Philosophy of Ang Lee. University Press of Kentucky. pp. 265-290.
    In this essay I argue that Machiavelli does not hold that all deception is permissible in war. While Machiavelli claims that "deceit... in the conduct of war is laudable and honorable," he insists that such deceit, or ruses of war, is not to be confounded with perfidy. Any Lee's U.S. Civil War film, "Ride With the Devil," illustrates this difference. The film also illustrates the difference between lying as part of romance, which is permitted, and lying at the moment of (...)
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  10. Bloodthink, Doublethink, and the Duplicitous Mind: On the Need for Critical Thinking in a Just Society.Richard Oxenberg - manuscript
    "Crooked people deceive themselves in order to deceive others; in this way the world comes to ruin." This quote from a medieval Confucianist expresses the ethical danger of self-deception. My paper examines the psychological proclivity for self-deception and argues that it lies behind much social and interpersonal injustice. I review Hitler's Mein Kampf, as a premiere example of such cognitive duplicity, and Socratic dialectic, as an example of the cognitive hygiene necessary to combat it. I conclude that a robust educational (...)
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  11. Methodological and Inducement Manipulation.Collin O’Neil - 2013 - American Journal of Bioethics 13 (11):55-57.
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  12. Empirically Socratic.Nathan Smith - 2013 - Cognizance Journal.
    In the Republic, Socrates argues that morality (justice) is valuable both for itself and for what comes from it. In contemporary moral theory, this view is not widely accepted. However, contemporary empirical research in psychology reveals that what we experience is also what we come to expect. It follows from this that if we act in an immoral fashion, we will expect the same from others. The more often we act immorally, the more suspicion will be ingrained within us. Suspicion (...)
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  13. VNRs: Is the News Audience Deceived?Matthew Broaddus, Mark D. Harmon & Kristin Farley Mounts - 2011 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 26 (4):283-296.
    Every day, television news operations have available dozens of video news releases (VNRs), public relations handout videos designed to mimic news formats. Electronic tracking indicates some of these VNRs are used. Critics typically assail VNRs on ethical grounds, that VNRs deceive audience members into thinking they are watching news gathered by reporters, rather than a promotional pitch. Using a snowball technique, the researchers presented survey respondents with authentic-looking local television news stories; 157 respondents evaluated three stories (out of nine). Some (...)
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Bullshit
  1. Understanding the Dangers of Mind Changes in Political Leadership (and How to Avoid Them).Kyle G. Fritz - forthcoming - Social Theory and Practice.
    Political leaders may change their mind about a policy, or even a significant moral issue. While genuinely changing one’s mind is not hypocritical, there are reasons to think that leaders who claim such a change are merely hypocritically pandering for political advantage. Indeed, some social science studies allegedly confirm that constituents will judge political leaders who change positions as hypocritical. Yet these studies are missing crucial details that we normally use to distinguish genuine mind changers from hollow hypocrites. These details (...)
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  2. “Many People Are Saying…”: Applying the Lessons of Naïve Skepticism to the Fight Against Fake News and Other “Total Bullshit”.Jake Wright - 2020 - Postdigital Science and Education 2 (1):113-131.
    ‘Fake news’ has become an increasingly common refrain in public discourse, though the term itself has several uses, at least one of which constitutes Frankfurtian bullshit. After examining what sorts of fake news appeals do and do not count as bullshit, I discuss strategies for overcoming our openness to such bullshit. I do so by drawing a parallel between openness to bullshit and naïve skepticism—one’s willingness to reject the concept of truth on unsupported or ill-considered grounds—and suggest that this parallel (...)
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  3. You Don't Say! Lying, Asserting and Insincerity.Neri Marsili - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Sheffield
    This thesis addresses philosophical problems concerning improper assertions. The first part considers the issue of defining lying: here, against a standard view, I argue that a lie need not intend to deceive the hearer. I define lying as an insincere assertion, and then resort to speech act theory to develop a detailed account of what an assertion is, and what can make it insincere. Even a sincere assertion, however, can be improper (e.g., it can be false, or unwarranted): in the (...)
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  4. Simulation, Seduction, and Bullshit: Cooperative and Destructive Misleading.Leslie A. Howe - 2017 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 44 (3):300-314.
    This paper refines a number of theoretical distinctions relevant to deceptive play, in particular the difference between merely misleading actions and types of simulation commonly considered beyond the pale, such as diving. To do so, I rely on work in the philosophy of language about conversational convention and implicature, the distinction between lying and misleading, and their relation to concepts of seduction and bullshit. The paper works through a number of possible solutions to the question of what is wrong with (...)
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Lying
See also: Sincerity
  1. Everybody Lies: Deception Levels in Various Domains of Life.Kristina Šekrst - 2022 - Biosemiotics.
    The goal of this paper is to establish a hierarchical level of deception which does not apply only to humans and non-human animals, but also to the rest of the living world, including plants. We will follow the hierarchical categorization of deception, set forth by Mitchell (1986), in which the first level of deception starts with mimicry, while the last level of deception includes learning and intentionality, usually attributed to primates. We will show how such a hierarchy can be attributed (...)
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  2. Group Lies and the Narrative Constraint.Säde Hormio - forthcoming - Episteme 19 (First View):1-20.
    A group is lying when it makes a statement that it believes to be untrue but wants the addressee(s) to believe. But how can we distinguish statements that the group believes to be untrue from honest group statements based on mistaken beliefs or confusion within the group? I will suggest a narrative constraint for honest group statements, made up of two components. Narrative coherence requires that a new group statement should not conflict with group knowledge on the matter, or beliefs (...)
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  3. Lying, Deception, and Dishonesty: Kant and the Contemporary Debate on the Definition of Lying.Stefano Bacin - 2022 - In Luigi Caranti & Alessandro Pinzani (eds.), Kant and the Problem of Morality: Rethinking the Contemporary World. Routledge. pp. 73-91.
    Although Kant is one of the very few classical writers referred to in the current literature on lying, hardly any attention is paid to how his views relate to the contemporary discussion on the definition of lying. I argue that, in Kant’s account, deception is not the defining feature of lying. Furthermore, his view is able to acknowledge non-deceptive lies. Kant thus holds, I suggest, a version of what is currently labelled Intrinsic Anti-Deceptionism. In his specific version of such a (...)
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  4. Lying: Knowledge or Belief?Neri Marsili - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (5):1445-1460.
    A new definition of lying is gaining traction, according to which you lie only if you say what you know to be false. Drawing inspiration from “New Evil Demon” scenarios, I present a battery of counterexamples against this “Knowledge Account” of lying. Along the way, I comment upon the methodology of conceptual analysis, the moral implications of the Knowledge Account, and its ties with knowledge-first epistemology.
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  5. Lies, Common Ground and Performative Utterances.Neri Marsili - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-12.
    In a recent book (Lying and insincerity, Oxford University Press, 2018), Andreas Stokke argues that one lies iff one says something one believes to be false, thereby proposing that it becomes common ground. This paper shows that Stokke’s proposal is unable to draw the right distinctions about insincere performative utterances. The objection also has repercussions on theories of assertion, because it poses a novel challenge to any attempt to define assertion as a proposal to update the common ground.
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  6. Lying, Speech Acts, and Commitment.Neri Marsili - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3245-3269.
    Not every speech act can be a lie. A good definition of lying should be able to draw the right distinctions between speech acts that can be lies and speech acts that under no circumstances are lies. This paper shows that no extant account of lying is able to draw the required distinctions. It argues that a definition of lying based on the notion of ‘assertoric commitment’ can succeed where other accounts have failed. Assertoric commitment is analysed in terms of (...)
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  7. Deceiving without answering.Peter Van Elswyk - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1157-1173.
    Lying is standardly distinguished from misleading according to how a disbelieved proposition is conveyed. To lie, a speaker uses a sentence to say a proposition she does not believe. A speaker merely misleads by using a sentence to somehow convey but not say a disbelieved proposition. Front-and-center to the lying/misleading distinction is a conception of what-is-said by a sentence in a context. Stokke (2016, 2018) has recently argued that the standard account of lying/misleading is explanatorily inadequate unless paired with a (...)
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  8. Lying and Knowing.Ben Holguín - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5351-5371.
    This paper defends the simple view that in asserting that p, one lies iff one knows that p is false. Along the way it draws some morals about deception, knowledge, Gettier cases, belief, assertion, and the relationship between first- and higher-order norms.
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  9. Immoral Lies and Partial Beliefs.Neri Marsili - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (1):117-127.
    In a recent article, Krauss (2017) raises some fundamental questions concerning (i) what the desiderata of a definition of lying are, and (ii) how definitions of lying can account for partial beliefs. This paper aims to provide an adequate answer to both questions. Regarding (i), it shows that there can be a tension between two desiderata for a definition of lying: 'descriptive accuracy' (meeting intuitions about our ordinary concept of lying), and 'moral import' (meeting intuitions about what is wrong with (...)
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  10. Testimonial Worth.Andrew Peet - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2391-2411.
    This paper introduces and argues for the hypothesis that judgments of testimonial worth are central to our practice of normatively appraising speech. It is argued that judgments of testimonial worth are central both to the judgement that an agent has lied, and to the acceptance of testimony. The hypothesis that, in lying, an agent necessarily displays poor testimonial worth, is shown to resolve a new puzzle about lying, and the recalcitrant problem raised by the existence of bald faced lies, and (...)
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  11. Lying, Fast and Slow.Angelo Turri & John Turri - 2019 - Synthese 198 (1):757-775.
    Researchers have debated whether there is a relationship between a statement’s truth-value and whether it counts as a lie. One view is that a statement being objectively false is essential to whether it counts as a lie; the opposing view is that a statement’s objective truth-value is inessential to whether it counts as a lie. We report five behavioral experiments that use a novel range of behavioral measures to address this issue. In each case, we found evidence of a relationship. (...)
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  12. The Meaning of White Lie.Hossein Atrak - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Investigations at University of Tabriz 7 (12):1-25.
    There is no doubt that “lying” is an unethical practice. But, in some situations, such as; where the life of an innocent person to be at risk, it is considered permissible by both the intelligence and law. The “white lie”, for ordinary people, is the lie that is permissible. But this term has become a victim of personal interpretations. As a result, many of non-permissible lies in the intelligence and law's view, because of the personal interpretation of white lie, have (...)
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  13. Sex By Deception.Berit Brogaard - 2022 - In John M. Doris & Manuel Vargas (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    In this paper I will use sex by deception as a case study for highlighting some of the most tricky concepts around sexuality and moral psychology, including rape, consensual sex, sexual rights, sexual autonomy, sexual individuality, and disrespectful sex. I begin with a discussion of morally wrong sex as rooted in the breach of five sexual liberty rights that are derived from our fundamental human liberty rights: sexual self-possession, sexual autonomy, sexual individuality, sexual dignity and sexual privacy. I then argue (...)
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  14. The Noble Art of Lying.James Mahon - 2017 - In Alan Goldman (ed.), Mark Twain and Philosophy. pp. 95-111.
    In this chapter, I examine the writings of Mark Twain on lying, especially his essays "On the decay of the Art of Lying" and "My First Lie, and How I Got Out of It." I show that Twain held that there were two kinds of lies: the spoken lie and the silent lie. The silent lie is the lie of not saying what one is thinking, and is far more common than the spoken lie. The greatest silent lies, according to (...)
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  15. Does the Lie Contradict the Truth?Urszula Wybraniec-Skardowska - 2010 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 20 (33).
    The main task of this work is not to determine the bases for a moral evaluation of the lie; neither is it to describe its negative qualification. We are interested rather in the very problemate of the truth and the lie itself, considered as a juxtaposition of two of its notions: the truth and the lie, one that aims to provide a positive – as it would seem obvious – answer to the question contained in the title of the present (...)
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  16. You Don't Say! Lying, Asserting and Insincerity.Neri Marsili - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Sheffield
    This thesis addresses philosophical problems concerning improper assertions. The first part considers the issue of defining lying: here, against a standard view, I argue that a lie need not intend to deceive the hearer. I define lying as an insincere assertion, and then resort to speech act theory to develop a detailed account of what an assertion is, and what can make it insincere. Even a sincere assertion, however, can be improper (e.g., it can be false, or unwarranted): in the (...)
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  17. Lying, Risk and Accuracy.Sam Fox Krauss - 2017 - Analysis 77 (4):726-734.
    Almost all philosophers agree that a necessary condition on lying is that one says what one believes to be false. But, philosophers haven’t considered the possibility that the true requirement on lying concerns, rather, one’s degree-of-belief. Liars impose a risk on their audience. The greater the liar’s confidence that what she asserts is false, the greater the risk she’ll think she’s imposing on the dupe, and, therefore, the greater her blameworthiness. From this, I arrive at a dilemma: either the belief (...)
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  18. Simulation, Seduction, and Bullshit: Cooperative and Destructive Misleading.Leslie A. Howe - 2017 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 44 (3):300-314.
    This paper refines a number of theoretical distinctions relevant to deceptive play, in particular the difference between merely misleading actions and types of simulation commonly considered beyond the pale, such as diving. To do so, I rely on work in the philosophy of language about conversational convention and implicature, the distinction between lying and misleading, and their relation to concepts of seduction and bullshit. The paper works through a number of possible solutions to the question of what is wrong with (...)
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  19. Lying by Promising. A Study on Insincere Illocutionary Acts.Neri Marsili - 2016 - International Review of Pragmatics 8 (2):271-313.
    This paper is divided into two parts. In the first part, I extend the traditional definition of lying to illocutionary acts executed by means of explicit performatives, focusing on promising. This is achieved in two steps. First, I discuss how the utterance of a sentence containing an explicit performative such as “I promise that Φ ” can count as an assertion of its content Φ . Second, I develop a general account of insincerity meant to explain under which conditions a (...)
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  20. Lying and Certainty.Neri Marsili - 2018 - In Jörg Meibauer (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Lying. Oxford University Press. pp. 170-182.
    In the philosophical literature on the definition of lying, the analysis is generally restricted to cases of flat-out belief. This chapter considers the complex phenomenon of lies involving partial beliefs – beliefs ranging from mere uncertainty to absolute certainty. The first section analyses lies uttered while holding a graded belief in the falsity of the assertion, and presents a revised insincerity condition, requiring that the liar believes the assertion to be more likely to be false than true. The second section (...)
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  21. The Truth About Lying.Angelo Turri & John Turri - 2015 - Cognition 138:161-168.
    The standard view in social science and philosophy is that lying does not require the liar’s assertion to be false, only that the liar believes it to be false. We conducted three experiments to test whether lying requires falsity. Overall, the results suggest that it does. We discuss some implications for social scientists working on social judgments, research on lie detection, and public moral discourse.
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  22. Lying as a Scalar Phenomenon.Neri Marsili - 2014 - In Sibilla Cantarini, Werner Abraham & Elizabeth Leiss (eds.), "Certainty-uncertainty – and the attitudinal space in between”,. John Benjamins Publishing.
    In the philosophical debate on lying, there has generally been agreement that either the speaker believes that his statement is false, or he believes that his statement is true. This article challenges this assumption, and argues that lying is a scalar phenomenon that allows for a number of intermediate cases – the most obvious being cases of uncertainty. The first section shows that lying can involve beliefs about graded truth values (fuzzy lies) and graded beliefs (graded-belief lies). It puts forward (...)
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  23. Lying.James Edwin Mahon - 2006 - In D. Borchert (ed.), Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Macmillan Reference. pp. 2--618.
    Short survey of philosophical literature on the definition of lying and the ethics of lying.
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  24. Sex, Lies, and Consent.Tom Dougherty - 2013 - Ethics 123 (4):717-744.
    How wrong is it to deceive someone into sex by lying, say, about one's profession? The answer is seriously wrong when the liar's actual profession would be a deal breaker for the victim of the deception: this deception vitiates the victim's sexual consent, and it is seriously wrong to have sex with someone while lacking his or her consent.
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  25. The Reality of Lies.Venanzio Raspa - 2013 - Filozofija I Društvo 24 (2):105-131.
    A lie is neither a false proposition, nor a mistake, nor a mere fiction; it is a type of fiction, an act, and precisely an intentional act. An act calls for a subject, and therefore a lie is inseparable from its subject. Together, they make up a real object: it has to be real, since a lie produces effects, and the cause-effect relationship only holds between real beings. Like every real object, a lie unfolds in a context. But there is (...)
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  26. Administrative Lies and Philosopher-Kings.David Simpson - 1996 - Philosophical Inquiry 18 (3-4):45-65.
    The question of whether lies by those who govern are acceptable receives a clear focus and an ideal case in the Republic. Against C. D. C. Reeve, and T. C. Brickhouse and N. D Smith, I argue that the Republic’s apparent recommendation of administrative lies is incoherent. While lies may be a necessary part of the City’s administration, the process and practice of lying undermines that nature which is necessary for any suitable ruler – rendering the ideal impossible. I argue (...)
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  27. The Truth About Kant On Lies.James Edwin Mahon - 2009 - In Clancy Martin (ed.), The Philosophy of Deception. Oxford University Press.
    In this chapter I argue that there are three different senses of 'lie' in Kant's moral philosophy: the lie in the ethical sense (the broadest sense, which includes lies to oneself), the lie in the 'juristic' sense (the narrowest sense, which only includes lies that specifically harm particular others), and the lie in the sense of right (or justice), which is narrower than the ethical sense, but broader than the juristic sense, since it includes all lies told to others, including (...)
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  28. Lying, Liars and Language.David Simpson - 1992 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (3):623-639.
    This paper considers the phenomenon of lying and the implications it has for those subjects who are capable of lying. It is argued that lying is not just intentional untruthfulness, but is intentional untruthfulness plus an insincere invocation of trust. Understood in this way, lying demands of liars a sophistication in relation to themselves, to language, and to those to whom they lie which exceeds the demands on mere truth-tellers.
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  29. Aristotle on Lying.Jane S. Zembaty - 1993 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 31 (1):7-29.
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Lying vs Misleading
  1. Fictions That Purport to Tell the Truth.Neri Marsili - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    Can fictions make genuine assertions about the actual world? Proponents of the ‘Assertion View’ answer the question affirmatively: they hold that authors can assert, by means of explicit statements that are part of the work of fiction, that something is actually the case in the real world. The ‘Nonassertion’ View firmly denies this possibility. In this paper, I defend a nuanced version of the Nonassertion View. I argue that even if fictions cannot assert, they can indirectly communicate that what is (...)
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  2. Saying, Commitment, and the Lying – Misleading Distinction.Neri Marsili & Guido Löhr - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
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  3. Lying, Misleading, and Fairness.Emanuel Viebahn - 2022 - Ethics 132 (3):736-751.
    Sam Berstler defends a general moral advantage for misleading over lying by arguing that liars, but not misleaders, act unfairly toward the other members of their linguistic community. This article spells out three difficulties for Berstler’s account. First, though Berstler aims to avoid an error theory, it is dubitable that her account fits with intuitions on the matter. Second, there are some lies that do not exhibit the unfairness Berstler identifies. Third, fairness is not the only morally relevant difference between (...)
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  4. The Lying-Misleading Distinction: A Commitment-Based Approach.Emanuel Viebahn - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 118 (6):289-319.
    The distinction between lying and mere misleading is commonly tied to the distinction between saying and conversationally implicating. Many definitions of lying are based on the idea that liars say something they believe to be false, while misleaders put forward a believed-false conversational implicature. The aim of this paper is to motivate, spell out, and defend an alternative approach, on which lying and misleading differ in terms of commitment: liars, but not misleaders, commit themselves to something they believe to be (...)
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