The Liar's Tale

The Liar's Tale

A History of Falsehood

Book - 2001
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Baker & Taylor
In an incisive inquiry into the nature of deception, the author of Grammatical Man offers a provocative debate about the nature of truth and ethics, the diverse faces and devices of falsehood, and the postmodern emphasis on meaning at the expense of truth.

Norton Pub
A bold new exploration of ethics and philosophy, The Liar's Tale extols the benefits of falsehood. Fireflies find mates by duping rivals with patterns of deceptive flashes. Politicians win elections by distorting statistics and telling half-truths. The devices of falsehood, whether simple exaggeration, pretense, or barefaced lies, are hard to resist and easy to employ. Now, in a provocative work that turns Sissela Bok's Lying on its head, Jeremy Campbell presents a daring inquiry into the nature of deception. With insight into rhetoric, language, and the sciences, Campbell launches his discussion with Darwin and evolutionary biology, and from there builds a foundation of philosophical evidence that is both counterintuitive and highly engaging. We encounter the purism of the ancients and their battles with the Sophists, the many faces of falsehood decried by Montaigne, the dark ethos of Kant and Nietzsche, and the reckless shift made by Derrida and the postmodernists favoring "meaning" at the expense of truth. Unsettling and highly original, The Liar's Tale is sure to provoke a new debate about truth and ethics.

Blackwell North Amer
Lies are often so subtle, so deftly woven into easily acceptable truths that we often fail to recognize them. Fireflies find mates by duping rivals with patterns of deceptive flashes; politicians win elections by distorting statistics and spouting half-truths; artists often prize imagination and beauty over simple realism. We accept these events as conventional occurrences and rarely question how they came to pass nor do we debate their merit. In The Liar's Tale, Jeremy Campbell rigorously explores the provocative notion that deception is not only an ineradicable aspect of human nature but a necessary and useful part of human success and enlightenment.
Campbell shows that, throughout history, the devices of falsehood - whether simple exaggeration, pretense, or barefaced lies - have always been hard to resist and easy to employ. In tracing the natural history of falsehood, The Liar's Tale turns Sisella Bok's defense of truth, as demonstrated in her book Lying, on its head as Campbell compellingly argues that deception can no longer be seen as an artificial, deviant, or even dispensable feature of life; instead, it is a natural, inevitable, and relentlessly necessary part of our world. As art and fiction have increasingly come to dominate our culture, we have obtained a dissatisfaction with the thinness, the inadequacy of literal truth - a sense that it fails to do justice to the rich possibilities of language and experience.

Baker
& Taylor

Inquires into the nature of deception and debates the nature of truth and ethics, the diverse faces and devices of falsehood, and the postmodern emphasis on meaning at the expense of truth.

Publisher: W.W. Norton, 2001
ISBN: 9780393025590
0393025594
Characteristics: p. ; cm

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