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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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Duplicity Makes the Man

Duplicity Makes the Man

Or, Can Animals Lie?

(p.104) 6 Duplicity Makes the Man
The Philosophy of Deception

Kelly Oliver

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the notions of psychoanalysis and the subconscious to further complicate the problem of deception and self-deception. It discusses the differences between humans and nonhuman animals in the work of Jacques Lacan, posing the questions: To what degree is humans' capacity to lie a function of their capacity for speech? And is there a difference between pretending and pretending to pretend? The discussion follows Jacques Derrida in concluding that at least one difference between human and nonhuman animals is that “animals may be capable of deception, but man is the self-deceptive animal”. It suggests that the distinction between pretense and lie that Lacan rests on is unsupportable: nonhuman animals lie just as well as people do.

Keywords:   Jacques Lacan, Jacques Derrida, animals, humans, deception, self-deception, pretending, lie

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