Research Group in Analytic Philosophy

The Aesthetic Significance of the Distinction between Lying and Misleading

    Jessica Pepp (Uppsala University)

Date: 24 October 2018

Time: 15:00

Place: Seminari de Filosofia UB


Both in ordinary life and in public or political realms, people distinguish between lying about something and intentionally misleading about it. This distinction seems to matter to us. But what is the nature of its significance? Recent discussion has focused on whether or not the distinction is morally significant. I will take a different tack and suggest that the distinction has aesthetic significance, which it inherits from a broader aesthetic preference for non-explicitness in certain kinds of communicative acts. Attention to this apect of the lying/misleading distinction can play a role, either in explaining why the distinction seems to be morally significant if it is not, or in explaining why it is morally significant, if it is.