Journal of the History of Philosophy 58 (2):193-214 (2020)

Nicholas Baima
Florida Atlantic University
Tyler Paytas
Australian Catholic University
A common theological perspective holds that God does not deceive because lying is morally wrong. While Plato denies the possibility of divine deception in the Republic, his explanation does not appeal to the wrongness of lying. Indeed, Plato famously recommends the careful use of lies as a means of promoting justice. Given his endorsement of occasional lying, as well as his claim that humans should strive to emulate the gods, Plato's suggestion that the gods never have reason to lie is puzzling. Our solution to this puzzle centers on the fact that, unlike humans, the gods are self-sufficient. Although lying is good for the souls of neither humans nor gods, human interdependency necessitates lies that will prevent material harms and maintain a just order. In contrast, the self-sufficiency of the gods makes it impossible for them to benefit from deception.
Keywords Plato  Socrates  Republic  divine deception  noble lie  friendship
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1353/hph.2020.0036
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Have I Unmasked Self-Deception or Am I Self-Deceived?Alfred R. Mele - 2009 - In Clancy Martin (ed.), The Philosophy of Deception. Oxford University Press. pp. 260.
Self-Deception Without Paradox.Dante A. Cosentino - 1980 - Philosophy Research Archives 1388:443-465.
Philosophy of Self Deception.Patrizia Pedrini - 2012 - Humana Mente 5 (20).
What is the Role of the Self in Self-Deception?Richard Holton - 2001 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 101 (1):53-69.
Two Omnipotent Beings?Aldo Frigerio & Ciro Florio - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (2):309-324.
Literal Self-Deception.Maiya Jordan - 2020 - Analysis 80 (2):248-256.
Doxastic Voluntarism and Self-Deception.Anthony R. Booth - 2007 - Disputatio 2 (22):115 - 130.
Emotion and Desire in Self-Deception.Alfred R. Mele - 2003 - In Anthony Hatzimoysis (ed.), Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement. Cambridge University Press. pp. 163-179.
Reviewing the Logic of Self-Deception.Ellen Fridland - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (1):22-23.
Emotion and Desire in Self-Deception.Alfred R. Mele - 2003 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 52:163-179.


Added to PP index

Total views
112 ( #106,008 of 2,520,417 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
14 ( #55,606 of 2,520,417 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes