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A Pack of Lies

A Pack of Lies
Towards a Sociology of Lying

£39.99

Part of Themes in the Social Sciences

  • Author: J. A. Barnes, Australian National University, Canberra
  • Date Published: June 1994
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521459785

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  • Defining lies as statements that are intended to deceive, this book considers the contexts in which people tell lies, how they are detected and sometimes exposed, and the consequences for the liars themselves, their dupes, and the wider society. The author provides examples from a number of cultures with distinctive religious and ethical traditions, and delineates domains where lying is the norm, domains that are ambiguous and the one domain (science) that requires truthtelling. He refers to experimental studies on children that show how, at an early age, they acquire the capactiy to lie and learn when it is appropriate to do so. He reviews how lying has been evaluated by moralists, examines why we do not regard novels as lies and relates the human capacity to lie to deceit among other animal species. He concludes that although there are, in all societies, good pragmatic reasons for not lying all the time, there are also strong reasons for lying some of the time.

    • An original study exploring the reasons why people lie
    • An accessible, well-written style by a well-known author
    • Previous Press author
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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 1994
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521459785
    • length: 216 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.32kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface
    Acknowledgments
    l. What is a lie? 2. Where lies are expected
    3. Ambiguous domains
    4. Science
    5. Cultural diversity
    6. Structural relations
    7. Self-deception and connivance in deceit
    8. Telling and detecting lies
    9. Benign untruths: the discourse of fiction
    l0. Evaluations
    11. Do we have to lie?.

  • Author

    J. A. Barnes, Australian National University, Canberra

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