Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 591–609 | Cite as

Empirically Investigating the Concept of Lying

  • Alex WiegmannEmail author
  • Ronja Rutschmann
  • Pascale Willemsen


Lying is an everyday moral phenomenon about which philosophers have written a lot. Not only the moral status of lying has been intensively discussed but also what it means to lie in the first place. Perhaps the most important criterion for an adequate definition of lying is that it fits with people’s understanding and use of this concept. In this light, it comes as a surprise that researchers only recently started to empirically investigate the folk concept of lying. In this paper, we describe three experimental studies which address the following questions: Does a statement need to be objectively false in order to constitute lying? Does lying necessarily include the intention to deceive? Can one lie by omitting relevant facts?


Concept of lying Lying Definition of lying Experimental philosophy 


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Copyright information

© ICPR 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alex Wiegmann
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ronja Rutschmann
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pascale Willemsen
    • 3
  1. 1.University of GoettingenGoettingenGermany
  2. 2.University of PotsdamPotsdamGermany
  3. 3.Ruhr-University BochumBochumGermany

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