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Lying and Certainty

In Jörg Meibauer (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Lying. Oxford University Press. pp. 170-182 (2018)

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  1. Lying: Knowledge or Belief?Neri Marsili - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    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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  • 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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  • Lying, Speech Acts, and Commitment.Neri Marsili - forthcoming - Synthese:1-25.
    Not every speech act can be a lie. A good definition of lying should be able to draw the right distinctions between speech acts (like promises, assertions, and oaths) that can be lies and speech acts (like commands, suggestions, or assumptions) 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 (...)
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  • 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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  • Lying, more or less: a computer simulation study of graded lies and trust dynamics.Borut Trpin, Anna Dobrosovestnova & Sebastian J. Götzendorfer - 2020 - Synthese:1-28.
    Partial lying denotes the cases where we partially believe something to be false but nevertheless assert it with the intent to deceive the addressee. We investigate how the severity of partial lying may be determined and how partial lies can be classified. We also study how much epistemic damage an agent suffers depending on the level of trust that she invests in the liar and the severity of the lies she is told. Our analysis is based on the results from (...)
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  • Lying, Misleading, and the Argument From Cultural Slopes.Lisa Herzog - 2021 - Res Publica 27 (1):77-93.
    This paper discusses a novel kind of argument for assessing the moral significance of acts of lying and misleading. It is based on considerations about valuable social norms that might be eroded by these actions, because these actions function as signals. Given that social norms can play an important role in supporting morality, individuals have a responsibility to preserve such norms and to prevent ‘cultural slopes’ that erode them. Depending on whether there are norms against lying, misleading, or both, and (...)
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  • Immoral Lies and Partial Beliefs.Neri Marsili - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-11.
    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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