What is it about?
Theories of lying struggle with borderline cases, in particular cases in which the liar is not really sure that what they are saying is false. The first half of the article explains the difference between two perspectives we may take on this problem: a definitional perspective (what is lying?) and an ethical perspective (what is wrong with lying?). The second half of the paper presents a theory of lying that answers both kinds of question. According to this theory, lying is saying what you believe more likely to be false than true. When you do so, you violate a moral norm (a "duty" that Kant took to be "perfect"), and this is what makes lying (all things the same) morally wrong. And while there are obviously other reasons why a particular lie may be morally reprehensible, this norm-violation is the ethically salient feature that all lies have in common
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This page is a summary of: Immoral lies and partial beliefs, Inquiry, September 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/0020174x.2019.1667865.
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