October 24th, 2018 9:00 PM
LYING DESPITE TELLING THE TRUTH
•We defend a subjective view on lying that does not require objective falsity.
•Four experiments suggest that the subjective view fits with most people’s intuitions.
•Conversational pragmatics can explain findings favoring an objective view.
•Implications for research about people’s concepts are discussed.
According to the standard definition of lying an utterance counts as a lie if the agent believes the statement to be false. Thus, according to this view it is possible that a lie states something that happens to be true. This subjective view on lying has recently been challenged by Turri and Turri (2015) who presented empirical evidence suggesting that people only consider statements as lies that are objectively false (objective view). We argue that the presented evidence is in fact consistent with the standard subjective view if conversational pragmatics is taken into account. Three experiments are presented that directly test and support the subjective view. An additional experiment backs up our pragmatic hypothesis by using the uncontroversial case of making a promise.