Disagreement with a bald-faced liar

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How can we disagree with a bald-faced liar? Bald-faced lies seem to pose problems for accounts of lying and of assertion. Recent proposals try to defuse those problems by arguing that bald-faced lies are not really assertions, but rather performances of fiction-like scripts, or different types of language games. If that’s the case, how can we disagree with a bald-faced liar? Can there be a disagreement in doxastic state if it’s common ground that what the speaker says is false? And can there be a disagreement in activity if it’s common ground that the speaker has no intent to deceive? And why do we disapprove bald-faced liars so strongly? This paper raises two objections to the fictionalist view. It then offers a diagnosis about how we disagree with bald-faced liars. It concludes that bald-faced lies have illocutionary assertoric force, and that in making a bald-faced lie the speaker tries to make it common ground that the assertion was in good standing qua assertion.
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Archival date: 2019-11-03
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