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The Philosophy of Deception$
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Clancy Martin

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195327939

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195327939.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 March 2021

On Truth, Lies, and Bullshit

On Truth, Lies, and Bullshit

(p.37) 2 On Truth, Lies, and Bullshit
The Philosophy of Deception

Harry Frankfurt

Oxford University Press

This chapter opens with a claim that the harm that lies do results from their interference with one's efforts to understand things as they truly are. Lies thrust one into an imaginary world that one cannot live in or rely on. The chapter goes on to discuss Kant's and Montaigne's claim that lies undermine human society, arguing that Kant and Montaigne have gone too far: although it is true that lies can tear the social fabric apart, they can also knit it together. The discussion develops a personal take on the harm of the lie with a discussion of the poet Adrienne Rich. For Rich, the liar puts himself in a place of terrible loneliness: by hiding his mind from others, he perilously removes himself from human society.

Keywords:   truth, lies, Kant, Montaigne, human society, Adrienne Rich

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