The Liar's Tale: A History of Falsehood
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The Liar's Tale: A History of Falsehood

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  67 ratings  ·  7 reviews
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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An absolutely excellent casual read for those interested in linguistic philosophy; but presented in a way that no philosophical background is required to enjoy this fascinating history of prevarication. Ray- check this one out!
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
Judith Moore
Good read for the history of philosophy and the meaning of "truth." Particularly good discussion of the emergence of post-modernism.
Kate Younger
Primal DNA and philosophy and their role in lying. Interesting read, with a valid argument for the intense pull of our DNA.
Eamonn Barrett
This is an excellent book which is well worth reading. And that's no lie!
Great philosophy on truth & lies.
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