Alex Wiegmann, Jana Samland and Michael Waldmann

Lying despite telling the truth


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. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Sponsor: Universität Göttingen, Germany. Other Details: Vorbereitung eines Forschungsantrages. Recipients: No recipient indicated