It’s easier to lie if you believe it yourself: Derrida, Arendt, and the modern lie.’

Law, Culture, and the Humanities 13 (2):193-210 (2017)

Marguerite La Caze
University of Queensland
In ‘History of the Lie: Prolegomena’ (2002) Jacques Derrida examines Hannah Arendt’s analysis of the modern lie in politics in her essays ‘Lying in Politics’ (1972) and ‘Truth and Politics’ (1968/ 1993). Arendt contrasts the traditional lie, where lies were told and secrets kept for the greater good or to defeat the enemy, with the modern lie, which comprises deception and self-deception on a massive scale. My paper investigates the seriousness of different kinds of lies in political life in the light of Arendt and Derrida’s reflections on lying and contemporary lies in politics and shows where concern should focus.
Keywords Modern lie  Traditional lie  Derrida  Arendt  Politics
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