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Title: Making as if to stand behind one's words : a theory of intentional deception and lying
Author: Ali, Mohammad Shahrar
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2004
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I undertake an analysis of themes and problems associated with the topic of intentional deception. I review the philosophical literature and try to clarify our moral intuitions. I motivate, explicate and test a new definition of lying. In Chapter i, I discuss the possible states of being deceived distinguished by Chisholm and Feehan in 'The Intent to Deceive'. In Chapter 2, I consider, first, relative disvalue among these states; then, types of deceptive intent. In Chapter 3, I question the assumption that an assertion is a special, solemn statement. I contend that standing behind one's words is intrinsic to the phenomenology of genuine assertion. In Chapter 4,1 show that to create an expectation in the deceived is not in itself to be able to violate a right of his. In Chapter 5,1 argue that to lie is not genuinely to assert and that lying occurs only when the liar makes as if to stand behind his words. In Chapter 6,1 distinguish dissimulation from simulation and show how the doctrine of mental reservation is consistent with not lying. In Chapter 7,1 expose twenty-two errors in Chisholm and Feehan's treatment of some classic cases. In Chapter 8,1 consider addressing. In Chapter 9, I identify an explanatory gap between a morally unbiased definition of lying and an overtly moral one. In Chapter 10, I examine the inherent disvalues and contingent harms said to be true of lying by Joseph Kupfer in 'The Moral Presumption against Lying'. The classification of lies as "white", morally superior, is shown to be suspect. In Chapter 11, I find deniers of Armenian genocide to be guilty of self-deception and self-opposition. In Chapter 12,1 defend the notion that truth has a value in itself and the thought that to have the genocide denied is to die twice. In Chapter 13, I start with the idea that language is an institution based on a convention of truth-telling, and show how public informants risk subverting truth by relying upon institutionalised trust. Examples used range from marriage vows and human shields, to The Winslow Boy, Clinton's sex scandal and Number 10's dossier on Iraq.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available