Skyrms on the Possibility of Universal Deception

Philosophical Studies 172 (2):375-397 (2015)

Authors
Don Fallis
Northeastern University
Abstract
In the Groundwork, Immanuel Kant famously argued that it would be self-defeating for everyone to follow a maxim of lying whenever it is to his or her advantage. In his recent book Signals, Brian Skyrms claims that Kant was wrong about the impossibility of universal deception. Skyrms argues that there are Lewisian signaling games in which the sender always sends a signal that deceives the receiver. I show here that these purportedly deceptive signals simply fail to make the receiver as epistemically well off as she could have been. Since the receiver is not actually misled, Kant would not have considered these games to be examples of deception, much less universal deception. However, I argue that there is an important sense of deception, endorsed by Roderick Chisholm and Thomas Feehan in their seminal work on the topic, under which Skyrms has shown that universal deception is possible
Keywords Deception  Immanuel Kant  Lying  Signaling Games  Withholding Information
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-014-0308-x
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References found in this work BETA

On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Practical Philosophy.Immanuel Kant - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Brier Rule Is Not a Good Measure of Epistemic Utility.Don Fallis & Peter J. Lewis - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (3):576-590.
Altruistic Deception.Jonathan Birch - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 74:27-33.
Deception: A Functional Account.Marc Artiga & Cédric Paternotte - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (3):579-600.

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