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Unpublished Paper
An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Deception and Telling Lies
  • Sudhanshu K Mishra, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong (India)

A lie is an expression at deviance with the truth known or honestly believed by someone with an intention to deceive others for certain purpose, social or personal. An ability to lie might be evolutionary in nature possibly to help in survival, since it is found in the non-human world also. In the biological perspective, each individual is at war against all others. Thus viewed, lies are the cardinal virtues for survival and, by implication, the carriers of evolution. In the human world, lying is morally blameworthy in a relatively un-obscure way. There may be cases of lying to which it may be difficult to take up a definite moral attitude. Certain types of lies might be morally acceptable and socially beneficial since they may block the otherwise (most damaging) global optimum solution of a negative sum game, while other types of lies are ethically and socially deplorable as they might block the optimal solution of a cooperative game. This must be judged pragmatically with the overall social welfare that they entail or produce.

  • Lies,
  • morality,
  • economics of lies,
  • Taxonomy,
  • survival,
  • evolution,
  • information asymmetry,
  • gender
Publication Date
Spring May 23, 2010
Citation Information
Sudhanshu K Mishra. "An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Deception and Telling Lies" (2010)
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