Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Simpson, D. I. (1992). Lying, liars and language. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 52 (3), 623-639.


Lying is a form of behaviour which receives relatively little attention as a feature of linguistic interaction (other than as a moral aberration). We occasionally find suggestions that the ability to lie reflects significant capacities of linguistic and communicative subjects, but there has been little or no attempt to draw out or clarify this supposed significance. In this paper I hope to give the beginnings of such an explication. I shall begin by offering an analysis of the concept of lying, and then highlight sets of assumptions and capacities which must be present in a liar, and which must be features of linguistic subjects that are capable of lying.





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