Group Lies and the Narrative Constraint

Episteme 19 (First View):1-20 (forthcoming)
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A group is lying when it makes a statement that it believes to be untrue but wants the addressee(s) to believe. But how can we distinguish statements that the group believes to be untrue from honest group statements based on mistaken beliefs or confusion within the group? I will suggest a narrative constraint for honest group statements, made up of two components. Narrative coherence requires that a new group statement should not conflict with group knowledge on the matter, or beliefs of relevant operative subgroups, unless a coherent rationale is given. Narrative intention looks at the process of gathering new evidence on the area of expertise of the group and requires that the group position behind the statement is formed in good faith. The narrative constraint will help to distinguish group lies from more innocent erroneous statements of group beliefs when there is an internal disagreement within the group, including in cases involving spokespersons.

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Säde Hormio
University of Helsinki

Citations of this work

Group Assertions and Group Lies.Neri Marsili - 2023 - Topoi 42 (2):369-384.

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