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The Liar's Tale: A History of Falsehood
Lies are often so subtle, so deftly woven into easily acceptable truths, that we can fail to recognize them. Turning Sisela Bok's defense of truth in her book Lying on its head, Jeremy Campbell argues that deception should no longer be seen as artificial or deviant, but as a natural part of our world. Beginning with a study of evolutionary biology and the necessity (and ul ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published November 17th 2002 by W. W. Norton Company
(first published 2001)
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Donde Lamarck se detiene en la razonabilidad y confianza de la natura-leza, Darwin saborea sus excentricidades y desviaciones, incluso por momentos sus ridiculeces. Estaba en busca de lo marginal, de lo que funcionaba mal, para sostener su selección natural. [...] Se podría decir que la naturaleza ha obtenido placer al acumular contradicciones para poder quitar toda apoyatura a una teoría de la armonía preexistente entre los mundos internos y los externos. He aquí la quintaesencia del darwinismo ...more
This book is an excellent history of philosophy through the lens of falsehood. Campbell makes a completely persuasive case for lying as primal in our DNA. Animals use protective coloration, false identities (butterflies that look like bad tasting ones), and plenty of other duplicity. We too. Ulysses, for instance, employs "metis" the Greek word for cunning, sort of street smarts willingness to dupe when necessary. Anyway, through the Greeks, through European philosophers up to and including the ...more
Popular history of various philosophers that have speculated on truth and lying. Campbell starts from Darwin and the idea that falsehood or deception is relatively common in nature and then traces attitudes toward falsehood through philosophical history. The writing is quite clear and I couldn't find any particular errors in the philosophical history, but I skimmed a lot of material that was a repeat for me. The concluding chapter suggests that culture has become the more important area of debat ...more