The Meta-Ethical Issue of the Nature of Lying: Implications for Moral Education

Abstract
I argue that lying has many dimensions, hence, some putativecases of lying may not match our intuitions or acceptedmeanings of lying. The moral lesson we should teach must be that lying is not a simple principle or feature, buta cluster of features or spectrum of shades, where anythingin the spectrum or cluster is considered lying. I argue thatthe view regarding lying as a single principle or featurehas problematic meta-ethical implications. I do a meta-ethicalanalysis of the meaning of lying, not only to indicatesuch problems, but also the need to teach the act ofrational discussion and meta-ethical analysis. I arguethat the process of meta-ethical analysis and rationaldiscussion should be part of moral education, in that itmay help to develop critical thought about the abilityand practice of making good and rational moral judgments
Keywords falsehood  honesty  intentional deception  lying  meta-ethics  moral education  truth-telling
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1014446323547
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