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A Philosophy of Lying

Lars Svendsen



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Reaktion Books
01 July 2022
This book is a comprehensive investigation of lying in everyday life. What exactly is a lie, and how does lying differ from related phenomena such as 'bullshit' or being truthful? Lars Svendsen also investigates the ethics of lying - why is lying almost always morally wrong, and why is lying to one's friends especially bad? The book concludes by looking at lying in politics, from Plato's theory of the 'noble lie' to Donald Trump. Svendsen's conclusion is that, even though we all occasionally lie, we are for the most part trustworthy. Trusting others makes you vulnerable, and you will be duped from time to time, but that is - all things considered - preferable to living in a constant state of distrust.
Imprint:   Reaktion Books
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 200mm,  Width: 120mm, 
ISBN:   9781789145632
ISBN 10:   1789145635
Pages:   180
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Lars Svendsen is Professor in the Department of Philosophy, University of Bergen, Norway. He is the author of many books for Reaktion including A Philosophy of Boredom (2004) and A Philosophy of Loneliness (2017).

Reviews for A Philosophy of Lying

'It is better to be fooled occasionally than to go through life with . . . chronic distrust, ' writes philosopher Svendsen in this clever take on lying and telling the truth. . . . And though people can be dishonest, Svendsen remains hopeful that serial lying is an anomaly. His reflections are nuanced, his conclusions smart, and he keeps things free of academic jargon. Philosophy-minded readers will find this an enjoyable and enlightening study. -- Publisher's Weekly What are we to do if we confront lying honestly? . . . Svendsen gives us ready access to the thought of the best and brightest in the philosophical tradition, and he does so with wit, charm, and clarity. But he gives us more than that. He offers considerate advice on questions of utmost importance to living well in a world where lying is a fact. --Jeffrey Kosky, professor of religion, Washington & Lee University, Virginia

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