Philosophy Colloquium Series 2014-2015Export this event to calendar

Friday, October 10, 2014 — 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM EDT

Ishani Maitra
University of Michigan

Lying, Acting, and Asserting

There’s a long history of supposing that lying to someone requires saying (or asserting) something with the intention of deceiving them. More recently, there’s been a decisive move away from this tradition, in response to examples of what are called ‘bald-faced lies’. In this paper, I argue that bald-faced lies aren’t lies, because they’re not assertions. I begin by arguing that lies must be assertions. Next, I briefly sketch a view of assertion according to which a constitutive rule of asserting is being responsive to evidence in a particular way. Then, focusing on two well-known examples of bald-faced lies, I argue that those speakers don’t assert anything; rather, they do something more like what an actor does. My argument thus removes an important objection to intend-to-deceive conceptions of lying. But more importantly, it offers a different way of thinking about lying. Defenders of bald-faced lies sometimes describe them as attempts to ‘go on the record’ with something known to be false. I argue against this conception, and defend an alternate view according to which lying involves taking a kind of (epistemic) responsibility for the content of one’s utterance.
 

Location 
HH - J.G. Hagey Hall of the Humanities
Room: 373
200 University Avenue West

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
Canada

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