Business Ethics Quarterly 3 (4):317-341 (1993)

Thomas L. Carson
Loyola University, Chicago
It is common for people to misstate their bargaining positions during business negotiations. This paper will focus on cases of the following sort: I am selling a house and tell a prospective buyer that $90,000 is absolutely the lowest price that I will accept, when I know that I would be willing to accept as little as $80, 000 for the house. This is a lie according to standard definitions of lying-it is a deliberate false statement which is intended to deceive others. I will defend the following two theses:a. Appearances to the contrary, this kind of bluffing typically does not constitute lying. (I will argue that standard dictionary definitions of lying are untenable and defend an alternative definition hinted at, but never clearly formulated by, W. D. Ross. On my definition, deliberate false statements about one's negotiating position would rarely constitute lies in this society.)b. It is usually permissible to misstate one's bargaining position when one has good reason to think that one's negotiating partner is doing the same and it is usually impermissible to misstate one's negotiating bargaining if one does not have good reason to think that the other party is misstating her position
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Business and Professional Ethics  Social Science
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ISBN(s) 1052-150X
DOI 10.2307/3857282
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References found in this work BETA

The right and the good.W. Ross - 1932 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 39 (2):11-12.
A Theory of Human Action.Les Holborow - 1973 - Philosophical Quarterly 23 (91):180-182.

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Citations of this work BETA

Business Bluffing Reconsidered.Fritz Allhoff - 2003 - Journal of Business Ethics 45 (4):283 - 289.
On the Ethics of Deception in Negotiation.Alan Strudler - 1995 - Business Ethics Quarterly 5 (4):805-822.

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