Lies, damned lies, and statistics: An empirical investigation of the concept of lying

Philosophical Psychology 26 (6):790 - 816 (2013)

Authors
Don Fallis
Northeastern University
Abstract
There are many philosophical questions surrounding the notion of lying. Is it ever morally acceptable to lie? Can we acquire knowledge from people who might be lying to us? More fundamental, however, is the question of what, exactly, constitutes the concept of lying. According to one traditional definition, lying requires intending to deceive (Augustine. (1952). Lying (M. Muldowney, Trans.). In R. Deferrari (Ed.), Treatises on various subjects (pp. 53?120). New York, NY: Catholic University of America). More recently, Thomas Carson (2006. The definition of lying. Nous, 40, 284?306) has suggested that lying requires warranting the truth of what you do not believe. This paper examines these two prominent definitions and some cases that seem to pose problems for them. Importantly, theorists working on this topic fundamentally disagree about whether these problem cases are genuine instances of lying and, thus, serve as counterexamples to the definitions on offer. To settle these disputes, we elicited judgments about the proposed counterexamples from ordinary language users unfettered by theoretical bias. The data suggest that everyday speakers of English count bald-faced lies and proviso lies as lies. Thus, we claim that a new definition is needed to capture common usage. Finally, we offer some suggestions for further research on this topic and about the moral implications of our investigation into the concept of lying
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09515089.2012.725977
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 38,694
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Truth and Truthfulness: An Essay in Genealogy.Bernard Williams - 2002 - Princeton: New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

View all 31 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Intuition Fail: Philosophical Activity and the Limits of Expertise.Wesley Buckwalter - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (2):378-410.
The Truth About Lying.Angelo Turri & John Turri - 2015 - Cognition 138:161-168.
Can You Lie Without Intending to Deceive?Vladimir Krstić - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Lying and Deception.Don Fallis - 2010 - Philosophers' Imprint 10.
How to Deal with Lying.Rachel Lynette - 2009 - Powerkids Press.
Bald-Faced Lies! Lying Without the Intent to Deceive.Roy Sorensen - 2007 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (2):251-264.
Lying and Asserting.Andreas Stokke - 2013 - Journal of Philosophy 110 (1):33-60.
Lies and Deception: An Unhappy Divorce.J. Lackey - 2013 - Analysis 73 (2):236-248.
To Catch a Heretic: Augustine on Lying.William E. Mann - 2003 - Faith and Philosophy 20 (4):479-495.
What Is Lying?Don Fallis - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (1):29-56.
To Catch a Heretic.William E. Mann - 2003 - Faith and Philosophy 20 (4):479-495.
Lies and Dishonest Endorsements.Alexander R. Pruss - 2010 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 84:213-222.
The Definition of Lying.Thomas L. Carson - 2006 - Noûs 40 (2):284–306.
Lying and Intentions.Gary E. Jones - 1986 - Journal of Business Ethics 5 (4):347-349.
Lying with Conditionals.Roy Sorensen - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (249):820-832.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-01-16

Total views
101 ( #68,905 of 2,317,993 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #257,793 of 2,317,993 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature