Lying, Misleading, and What is Said: An Exploration in Philosophy of Language and in Ethics

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9780198744115: Lying, Misleading, and What is Said: An Exploration in Philosophy of Language and in Ethics

Many people (both philosophers and not) find it very natural to think that deceiving someone in a way that avoids lying--by merely misleading--is morally preferable to simply lying. Others think that this preference is deeply misguided. But all sides agree that there is a distinction. In Lying, Misleading, and What is Said, Jennifer Saul undertakes a close examination of the lying/misleading distinction. Saul begins by using this very intuitive distinction to shed new light on entrenched debates in philosophy of language over notions like what is said. Next, she tackles the puzzling but widespread moral preference for misleading over lying, and arrives at a new view regarding the moral significance of the distinction. Finally, Saul draws her conclusions together to examine a range of historically important and interesting cases, from a consideration of modern politicians to the early Jesuits.

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About the Author:

Jennifer Saul is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield. She works in Philosophy of Language, Feminist Philosophy and Philosophy of Psychology. She is especially interested in finding ways that philosophical debates (like that over what is said) connect up with real-world concerns (like lying and misleading). And she likes nothing better than an excuse to discuss political scandals in great detail. She is also the author of Simple Sentences, Substitution, and Intuitions (Oxford University Press 2007) and Feminism: Issues and Arguments (Oxford University press 2003). She is Director of the Implicit Bias and Philosophy Research Network.


"Saul has done philosophy a great service by bringing into conversation two subfields that have long remained isolated from one another, namely, philosophy of language and moral philosophy."--Kevin M. Graham, APA Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy

"In this excellent and enjoyable book, Jennifer Saul explores issues at the convergence of the philosophy of language and ethics. Her book is an excellent addition to a growing literature of what might be considered applied philosophy of language."--Luvell Anderson, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"Saul's book represents a significant step forward in terms of our understanding of lying and deception; perhaps even more importantly, it reveals just how much more remains to be said about these topics." -- Journal of Moral Philosophy

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