Lying

Edited by Neri Marsili (Universitat de Barcelona)
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  1. Everybody Lies: Deception Levels in Various Domains of Life.Kristina Šekrst - forthcoming - 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. Review of Jörg Meibauer (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Lying (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), Pp. 689. [REVIEW]Vladimir Krstić - 2022 - Linguistische Berichte 270:225–236.
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  4. Lying, Deception, and Dishonesty: Kant and the Contemporary Debate on the Definition of Lying.Stefano Bacin - forthcoming - 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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  5. 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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  6. The Oxford Handbook of Lying.Jörg Meibauer (ed.) - 2018 - Oxford Handbooks.
    This handbook brings together past and current research on all aspects of lying and deception, with chapters contributed by leading international experts in the field. We are confronted daily with cases of lying, deception, bullshitting, and 'fake news', making it imperative to understand how lying works, how it can be defined, and whether it can be detected. A further important issue is whether lying should always be considered a bad thing or if, in some cases, it is simply a useful (...)
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  7. Eliot Michaelson and Andreas Stokke (Eds.), Lying: Language, Knowledge, Ethics, and Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), Pp. 320. [REVIEW]Neri Marsili - forthcoming - Utilitas:1-3.
  8. 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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  9. Is Lying Bound to Commitment? Empirically Investigating Deceptive Presuppositions, Implicatures, and Actions.Louisa M. Reins & Alex Wiegmann - 2021 - Cognitive Science 45 (2):e12936.
    Lying is an important moral phenomenon that most people are affected by on a daily basis—be it in personal relationships, in political debates, or in the form of fake news. Nevertheless, surprisingly little is known about what actually constitutes a lie. According to the traditional definition of lying, a person lies if they explicitly express something they believe to be false. Consequently, it is often assumed that people cannot lie by more indirectly communicating believed‐false claims, for instance by merely conversationally (...)
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  10. 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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  11. Lies in Art.Daisy Dixon - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (1):25-39.
    This paper aims to show that any account of how artworks lie must acknowledge (I) that artworks can lie at different levels of their content—what I call ‘surface’ and ‘deep’—and (II) that, for an artwork to lie at a given level, a norm of truthful communication such as Grice’s Maxim of Quality must apply to it. A corollary is that it’s harder than you might think for artworks to lie: Quality is not automatically ‘switched on’ during our engagement with art. (...)
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  12. Lying, Uptake, Assertion, and Intent.Angelo Turri & John Turri - 2016 - International Review of Pragmatics 8 (2):314-333.
    A standard view in social science and philosophy is that a lie is a dishonest assertion: to lie is to assert something that you think is false in order to deceive your audience. We report four behavioral experiments designed to evaluate some aspects of this view. Participants read short scenarios and judged several features of interest, including whether an agent lied. We found evidence that ordinary lie attributions can be influenced by aspects of audience uptake, are based on judging that (...)
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  13. 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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  14. Disagreement with a Bald‐Faced Liar.Teresa Marques - 2020 - Ratio 33 (4):255-268.
    How can we disagree with a bald-faced liar? Can we actively disagree if it is common ground that the speaker has no intent to deceive? And why do we disapprove of bald-faced liars so strongly? Bald-faced lies 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. In this paper, I raise two objections (...)
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  15. Assertion and its Social Significance: An Introduction.Bianca Cepollaro, Paolo Labinaz & Neri Marsili - 2019 - Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio 13 (1):1-18.
    This paper offers a brief survey of the philosophical literature on assertion, presenting each contribution to the RIFL special issue "Assertion and its social significance" within the context of the contemporary debate in which it intervenes. The discussion is organised into three thematic sections. The first one concerns the nature of assertion and its relation with assertoric commitment – the distinctive responsibility that the speaker undertakes in virtue of making a statement. The second section considers the epistemic significance of assertion, (...)
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  16. Review of E. Michaelson and A. Stokke (Eds.): Lying: Language, Knowledge, Ethics, and Politics. [REVIEW]Emanuel Viebahn - 2019 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 10.
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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. Why the Revised Grotian Definition of Lying Still Fails: A Reply to Vincelette.John Skalko - 2018 - Bogoslovni Vestnik 1 (78):67-77.
    In a recent article (2017), Alan Vincelette attempts to defend the Grotian definition of lying. In much of the article he argues when it is licit to tell a formal falsehood. This focus, however, is a mistake. In particular, Vincelette conflates two distinct questions: a) is lying ever morally permissible?, and b) is the Grotian definition of lying an adequate definition? Much of Vincelette‘s response to my earlier criticisms (Skalko 2015) of the Grotian definition focuses on (a), but neglects (b). (...)
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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. 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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  23. Little White Lies.S. K. Wertz - 2018 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 32 (1):49-55.
    Samuel Johnson has an interesting comment on consequences and the telling of “white lies.” For example “Sick People and Children are often to be deceived for their Good.” David Hume apparently endorses this concept in one of his letters. Both Johnson and Rousseau anticipate Kant’s argument about consequences in that one is to tell the truth under all circumstances. Hume, I argue, would take issue with this claim in that there are cases that warrant telling white lies. Elsewhere he speaks (...)
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  24. Making Sense of Lies, Deceptive Propaganda, and Fake News.Bonnie Brennen - 2017 - Journal of Media Ethics 32 (3):179-181.
  25. Book Review: Lying: An Augustinian Theology of DuplicityLying: An Augustinian Theology of Duplicity by GriffithsPaul J.Brazos, Grand Rapids, 2004. 254 Pp., $ 18.99. ISBN 1-58743-086-X. [REVIEW]Robert Vosloo - 2006 - Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology 60 (2):232-232.
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  26. Little White Lies in Advance.S. K. Wertz - forthcoming - International Journal of Applied Philosophy.
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  27. Why Did Aquinas Hold That Killing is Sometimes Just, But Never Lying?John Skalko - 2016 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 90:227-241.
    Aquinas held that lying is always a sin, an evil action. In later terminology it falls under what would be called an intrinsically evil action. Under no circumstances can it be a good action. Following Augustine, Aquinas held that even if others must die, one must still never tell a lie. Yet when it comes to self-defense and capital punishment Aquinas’s reasoning seems at odds with itself. One may kill a man in self-defense. Similarly, just as a diseased limb may (...)
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  28. 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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  29. Lying in Politics: Fake News, Alternative Facts, and the Challenges for Deliberative Civics Education.Mordechai Gordon - 2018 - Educational Theory 68 (1):49-64.
  30. Lying, Accuracy and Credence.Matthew A. Benton - 2018 - Analysis 78 (2):195-198.
    Traditional definitions of lying require that a speaker believe that what she asserts is false. Sam Fox Krauss seeks to jettison the traditional belief requirement in favour of a necessary condition given in a credence-accuracy framework, on which the liar expects to impose the risk of increased inaccuracy on the hearer. He argues that this necessary condition importantly captures nearby cases as lies which the traditional view neglects. I argue, however, that Krauss's own account suffers from an identical drawback of (...)
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  31. 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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  32. The Moral Gradation of Media of Deception.Shlomo Cohen - 2018 - Theoria 84 (1):60-82.
    A central debate in the ethics of deception concerns the moral comparison among the three media through which deception is executed: lying, falsely implicating, or nonlinguistic deception. The two prominent views are that lying is morally worse or that the choice of medium is morally insignificant. This article refutes both and argues for a new position. The article first presents a theory on the moral significance of the medium of deception as such: it argues that the medium of communication affects (...)
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  33. Lying and Christian Ethics by Christopher O. Tollefsen. [REVIEW]John Skalko - 2016 - Nova et Vetera 14 (3):1045-1048.
  34. 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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  35. 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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  36. 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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  37. 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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  38. Catholics and Hugo Grotius’s Definition of Lying.John Skalko - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:159-179.
    Among Catholic philosophers, Saint Augustine was the first boldly to propose and defend the absolute view that all lies are wrong. Under no circumstances can a lie be licit. This absolute view held sway among Catholics until the sixteenth century with the introduction of the doctrine of mental reservation. In the seventeenth century, Hugo Grotius introduced another way to uphold the absolute view by changing the definition of lying: If the right of another is not violated, then there is no (...)
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  39. Truth, Lies, and Deceit: On Ethics in Contemporary Public Life.Jeff Malpas - 2008 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 22 (1):1-12.
    On the one hand, most of us would take honesty to be a key ethical virtue. Corporations and other organizations often include it in their codes of ethics, we legislate against various forms of dishonesty, we tend to be ashamed when we are caught not telling the truth, and honesty is often regarded as a key element in relationships. Yet on the other hand, dishonesty, that is, lying and deceit, seems to be commonplace in contemporary public life even amongst those (...)
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  40. Comparing and Combining Covert and Overt Untruthfulness.Marta Dynel - 2016 - Pragmatics and Cognition 23 (1):174-208.
    This paper aims to differentiate between lying and irony, typically addressed independently by philosophers and linguists, as well as to discuss the cases when deception co-occurs with, and capitalises on, irony or metaphor. It is argued that the focal distinction can be made with reference to Grice’s first maxim of Quality, whose floutings lead to overt untruthfulness, and whose violations result in covert untruthfulness. Both types of untruthfulness are divided into explicit and implicit subtypes depending on the level of meaning (...)
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  41. 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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  42. 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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  43. The Distinctive Wrong in Lying.Alan Strudler - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (2):171-179.
    In this essay I will argue, as does Bernard Williams, that lying and misleading are both commonly wrong because they involve an aim to breach a trust. I will also argue, contrary to Williams, that lying and misleading threaten trust differently, and that when they are wrong, they are wrong differently. Indeed, lying may be wrong when misleading is not.
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  44. Lying and Truthfulness.Kevin DeLapp & Jeremy Henkel (eds.) - 2016 - Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company.
    This anthology provides a set of distinctive selections that explore both Western and Eastern views of lying and truthfulness, including selections from Augustine, Grotius, Aristotle, the _Mahabharata_, Confucius, Kant, Plato, Sunzi, Han Feizi, Aquinas, the _Lotus Sutra_, Hobbes, Hume, Locke, Bacon, Nietzsche, and more. Hackett Readings in Philosophy is a versatile series of compact anthologies, each devoted to a topic of traditional interest in philosophy or political theory. Selections are chosen for their accessibility, significance, and ability to stimulate thought and (...)
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  45. 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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  46. Lying, Belief, and Knowledge.Matthew A. Benton - 2019 - In Jörg Meibauer (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Lying. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 120-133.
    What is the relationship between lying, belief, and knowledge? Prominent accounts of lying define it in terms of belief, namely telling someone something one believes to be false, often with the intent to deceive. This paper develops a novel account of lying by deriving evaluative dimensions of responsibility from the knowledge norm of assertion. Lies are best understood as special cases of vicious assertion; lying is the anti-paradigm of proper assertion. This enables an account of lying in terms of knowledge: (...)
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  47. Managers and Lying: Constructing a Framework for Empirical Analysis.Jaana Urpilainen & Tuomo Takala - 1996 - Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies 1 (1).
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  48. The Morality of Deception.Margaret Helen Carter - 1982 - Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
    In exploring the morality of deception, I focus on three kinds of deception: lying, insincerity about oneself , and self-deception. The basic questions addressed are: What characterizes each kind of deception? Are each of these kinds of deception wrong or undesirable? Do the same sorts of considerations that bear on the morality of one form of deception bear on the morality of the other forms? ;Lying, the topic of Chapter One, is clearly wrong; but it is less obvious why. I (...)
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  49. Lying: An Augustinian Theology of Duplicity.Paul J. Griffiths - 2004 - Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock.
    Most people would agree that compulsive lying is a "sickness." In his provocative Lying, Paul Griffiths suggests that consistent truth telling might evoke a similar response. After all, isn't unremitting honesty often associated with stupidity, insanity, and fanatical sainthood? Drawing from Augustine's writings, and contrasting them with the work of other Christian and non-Christian thinkers, Griffiths deals with the two great questions concerning lying: What is it to lie? When, if ever, should or may a lie be told? Examining Augustine's (...)
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  50. Essays Upon Several Moral Subjects. Part Iv. Of Goodness. Honesty. Religious Temper. Lying. Of Fortitude. Flattery. Theft. Peace. The Resurrection. [REVIEW]Jeremy Collier, W. B. Samuel, Benjamin Keble & Tooke - 1709 - Printed by W. B. For S. Keeble [Sic] at the Turk's Head Over Against Fetter-Lane in Fleet-Street; and B. Tooke at the Middle Temple-Gate in Fleet-Street.
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