By J. A. Barnes

ISBN-10: 0511520980

ISBN-13: 9780511520983

ISBN-10: 0521453763

ISBN-13: 9780521453769

ISBN-10: 0521459788

ISBN-13: 9780521459785

Defining lies as statements which are meant to mislead, this ebook considers the contexts during which humans inform lies and explores the results. the writer seems to be at societies with precise spiritual and moral traditions the place mendacity is the norm. He additionally indicates how little ones gather the skill to lie at an early age, and research while it's acceptable to take action. In end, Professor Barnes argues that folks are likely to inform the reality, for except the query of morality, there are pragmatic purposes for doing so.

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Additional resources for A Pack of Lies: Towards a Sociology of Lying

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Subsequently he admitted that the allegations were correct and resigned his parliamentary and government posts (Young 1963). A limerick circulating at the time ran What on earth have you done, said Christine, You have wrecked the whole party machine; To lie in the mews, That is just rude, But to lie in the House is obscene. Respondents to a social survey were asked whether they regarded the security risk posed by the involvement of the Russian attache, or Profumo's having a mistress, or his act of lying in parliament, as more important.

As Montaigne (1926:36) says, 'the reverse of truth has a hundred thousand forms, and a field indefinite, without bound or limit'. Lying is a mode of deception. Goffman (1975:83-123) has developed a detailed typology of what he calls 'fabrications': the intentional effort of one or more individuals to manage activity so that a party of one or more others will be induced to have a false belief about what is going on. Not all of his deceivers engage in lying; his very lively illustrations of the variety of deceptions encountered in ordinary life demonstrate the fertility of the human imagination but, alas, carry us well beyond the scope of the present study.

We are fully entitled to adopt counterespionage measures against any power which indulges in espionage, whether that power be for the time friend or foe ... To tackle enemy espionage (whoever the enemy may turn out to be) it is therefore of paramount importance to keep a firm hold on the enemy's own system of agents and informers. Knowledge of his methods, knowledge of his intentions, and knowledge of the personnel of his organisation are all vitally necessary. Surely all these objects are best attained by the maintenance of double agents!

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A Pack of Lies: Towards a Sociology of Lying by J. A. Barnes


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