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  • 1.
    Stokke, Andreas
    Uppsala University, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS). Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Metaphysics.
    Bullshitting2018In: The Oxford Handbook of Lying / [ed] Meibauer, Jörg, Oxford University Press , 2018Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter provides an overview of reactions to Harry Frankfurt’s influential theory of bullshitting, addressing the four main features he ascribes to it, and considers some alternatives to Frankfurt’s account. Among others, issues raised by Thomas Carson and G. A. Cohen are examined in the discussion. A proposal to characterize bullshitting in terms of Gricean maxims is discussed, and it is argued that these views fail to capture the full range of cases. Here, works by Stokke and Don Fallis are cited. An alternative view that analyzes bullshitting in terms of the speaker’s attitudes toward the communal project of inquiry is canvassed, and the chapter ends by discussing the relation between bullshitting and lying.

  • 2.
    Stokke, Andreas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy. Uppsala University, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS).
    Conventional Implicature, Presupposition, and Lying2017In: Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume, Vol. 91, p. 127-147Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction. Most philosophers agree that lies are assertions.1 In particular, most agree that you lie only if you assert something you believe to be false.2 You can avoid lying if you can avoid asserting disbelieved information. A well-known strategy of cunning disingenuousness is to mislead by asserting something one believes to be true and thereby convey something one believes to be false.

    Thinking about the nature of lying, and in particular the important relation between lying and other ways of deceiving with language, therefore involves thinking about what can be asserted by particular utterances.3 In ‘Lucifer’s Logic Lesson: How to Lie with Arguments’, Roy Sorensen tries to expand the canvas by drawing attention to a species of information that is conveyed by a variety of utterances, but which has received relatively little attention in the philosophy of language. This is the category of conventional implicature. Sorensen notes that conventional implicatures are typically thought to be assertions, as opposed to conversational implicatures, one of the chief characteristics of which is that they are not asserted. While conversational implicatures provide the default strategy for misleading while avoiding lying, Sorensen suggests that conventional implicatures will be lies in the right circumstances.

    Sorensen is interested in a particular type of construction, namely, the construction P therefore Q. He argues that therefore contributes a conventional implicature to such utterances, and that if what is conventionally implicated is believed to be false by the speaker, she is lying.

    Five interrelated claims can be distilled from Sorensen’s (2017) discussion:

    (s1) You lie only if you make an assertion (p. 106).

    (s2) Conventional implicatures are assertions (p. 110).

    (s3) You can lie with conventional implicatures (p. 107).

    (s4) P therefore Q conventionally implicates that P implies Q (p. 106).4

    (s5) You can lie with P therefore Q (even if you believe P and believe Q) (p. 105).

    My plan is as follows. In §ii, I will comment on (s1) and (s2). §§iii–v will be concerned with (s4) and (s5). Finally, §vi will turn to (s3). We will see that there is reason to agree with (s1)–(s3) while disagreeing with (s4)–(s5). In other words, there is reason to agree that conventional implicatures are asserted, and therefore you can lie with conventional implicatures. But I think the case Sorensen focuses on, that of therefore, is ill-chosen. We will see that the evidence suggests that therefore is a presupposition trigger, rather than a conventional implicature trigger. This means that the implication relation conveyed by P therefore Q is presupposed, and not asserted, by utterances of such constructions. Hence, since I agree with (s1), I will reject (s5). I think the relevant examples are not outright lies, although they may be misleading.

  • 3.
    Stokke, Andreas
    Uppsala University, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS). Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Metaphysics.
    Fabrication and Testimony2018In: Lying: Language, Knowledge, Ethics, Politics, Oxford University Press, 2018Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter is concerned with the question, what are the conditions under which insincerity blocks testimonial knowledge and what are the conditions under which testimonial knowledge may be acquired in the face of insincere testimony? The chapter argues that when insincerity blocks testimonial knowledge, the insincerity involved is a kind of unreliability. In particular, insincere testimony—in particular, lying—is seen to involve fabrication, that is, making something up. It is argued that acquiring testimonial knowledge requires that the testimony be given on a reliable basis. Yet fabrication is not a reliable basis for testimony, and hence this explains why lying testimony typically does not yield testimonial knowledge. By contrast, the chapter shows that, in cases where listeners acquire testimonial knowledge from insincere testifiers, the testimony is given on a reliable basis.

  • 4.
    Stokke, Andreas
    Uppsala University, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS).
    Lies, Harm, and Practical Interests2019In: Philosophy and phenomenological research, ISSN 0031-8205, E-ISSN 1933-1592, Vol. 98, no 2, p. 329-345Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper outlines an account of the ethics of lying, which accommodates two main ideas about lying. The first of these, Anti‐Deceptionalism, is the view that lying does not necessarily involve intentions to deceive. The second, Anti‐Absolutism, is the view that lying is not always morally wrong. It is argued that lying is not wrong in itself, but rather the wrong in lying is explained by different factors in different cases. In some cases such factors may include deceptive intentions on the part of the liar. In other cases, where such intentions are not found, the wrong in lying may be explained by other factors. Moreover, it is argued that the interaction between considerations against lying and considerations against telling the truth are sensitive to the practical interests of those lied to. When the topic of the lie in question matters little to the victim's rational decision making, the threshold for when considerations against telling the truth can outweigh considerations against lying are lowered. This account is seen to explain why lying to avoid little harm is sometimes permissible, and sometimes not.

  • 5.
    Stokke, Andreas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy.
    Lying and Insincerity2018 (ed. 1)Book (Refereed)
  • 6.
    Stokke, Andreas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy.
    Lying and Misleading in Discourse2016In: Philosophical Review, Vol. 125, no 1, p. 83-134Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper argues that the distinction between lying and misleading while not lying issensitive to discourse structure. It is shown that whether an utterance is a lie or is merelymisleading sometimes depends on the topic of conversation, represented by so-calledquestions under discussion. It is argued that to mislead is to disrupt the pursuit of thegoal of inquiry, i.e., to discover how things are. Lying is seen as a special case requiringassertion of disbelieved information, where assertion is characterized as a mode of con-tributing information to a discourse that is sensitive to the state of the discourse itself.The resulting account is applied to a number of ways of exploiting the lying-misleadingdistinction, involving conversational implicature, incompleteness, presuppositions, andprosodic focus. It is shown that assertion, and hence lying, is preserved from subques-tion to superquestion under a strict entailment relation between questions, and ways oflying and misleading in relation to multiple questions are discussed

  • 7.
    Stokke, Andreas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy. Uppsala University, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS).
    Lying:: Language, Knowledge, Ethics, and Politics2018Collection (editor) (Refereed)
  • 8.
    Stokke, Andreas
    Uppsala University, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS). Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Metaphysics.
    Lying, Sincerity, and Quality2018In: The Oxford Handbook of Lying / [ed] Meibauer, Jörg, Oxford University Press, 2018Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter considers various ways of theorizing about lying from the point of view of Gricean Quality maxims. It first discusses attempts to characterize lying as a violation of the First Maxim of Quality and then turns to views of lying in terms of the supermaxim of Quality. The chapter suggests that both these types of view on lying give the wrong results on non-deceptive lies, the difference between lies and ironic statements, and the difference between lying and misleading. The chapter finishes by considering the view that lies are insincere assertion in relation to the Gricean view that Quality maxims have a special status in relation to the other maxims and the Cooperative Principle.

  • 9.
    Stokke, Andreas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy.
    Proposing, Pretending, and Propriety: A Response to Don Fallis2017In: Australasian Journal of Philosophy, ISSN 0004-8402, E-ISSN 1471-6828, Vol. 95, no 1Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This note responds to criticism put forth by Don Fallis of an account of lying in terms of the Stalnakerian view of assertion. According to this account, to lie is to say something one believes to be false and thereby propose that it become common ground. Fallis objects by presenting an example to show that one can lie even though one does not propose to make what one says common ground. It is argued here that this objection does not present a problem for the view of lying as Stalnakerian assertion. Responding to the objection brings out important features of this view of discourse and of assertion.

  • 10.
    Stokke, Andreas
    Uppsala University, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS).
    Truthfulness and Gricean Cooperation2016In: Grazer Philosophische Studien, ISSN 0165-9227, E-ISSN 1875-6735, Vol. 93, no 3, p. 489-510Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper examines the Gricean view that quality maxims take priority over other conversational maxims. It is shown that Gricean conversational implicatures are routinely inferred from utterances that are recognized to be untruthful. It is argued that this observation falsifies Grice's original claim that hearers assume that speakers are obeying other maxims only if the speaker is assumed to be obeying quality maxims, and furthermore the related claim that hearers assume that speakers are being cooperative only to the extent that they assume they are being truthful.

  • 11.
    Stokke, Andreas
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy. Uppsala University, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS).
    Fallis, D.
    Bullshitting, Lying, and Indifference toward Truth2017In: Ergo, Vol. 4, no 10, p. 277-309Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper is about some of the ways in which people sometimes speak while be-ing indifferent toward what they say. We argue that what Harry Frankfurt called ‘bullshitting’ is a mode of speech marked by indifference toward inquiry, the coop-erative project of reaching truth in discourse. On this view bullshitting is character-ized by indifference toward the project of advancing inquiry by making progress on specific subinquiries, represented by so- called questions under discussion. This ac-count preserves the central insight of Frankfurt’s influential analysis of bullshitting in seeing the characteristic of bullshitting as indifference toward truth and falsity. Yet we show that speaking with indifference toward truth is a wider phenomenon than the one Frankfurt identified. The account offered in this paper thereby agrees with various critics of Frankfurt who argue that bullshitting is compatible with not being indifferent toward the truth- value of one’s assertions. Further, we argue that, while bullshitting and lying are not mutually exclusive, most lies are not instances of bullshitting. The account thereby avoids the problem that Frankfurt’s view ulti-mately is insufficient to adequately distinguish bullshitting and lying.

  • 12.
    Stokke, Andreas
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS).
    Fallis, Don
    Univ Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 USA.
    Bullshitting, Lying, and Indifference Toward Truth2017In: Ergo - An Open Access Journal of Philosophy, ISSN 0014-0171, E-ISSN 2330-4014, Vol. 4, p. 277-309Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper is about some of the ways in which people sometimes speak while being indifferent toward what they say. We argue that what Harry Frankfurt called 'bullshitting' is a mode of speech marked by indifference toward inquiry, the cooperative project of reaching truth in discourse. On this view bullshitting is characterized by indifference toward the project of advancing inquiry by making progress on specific subinquiries, represented by so-called questions under discussion. This account preserves the central insight of Frankfurt's influential analysis of bullshitting in seeing the characteristic of bullshitting as indifference toward truth and falsity. Yet we show that speaking with indifference toward truth is a wider phenomenon than the one Frankfurt identified. The account offered in this paper thereby agrees with various critics of Frankfurt who argue that bullshitting is compatible with not being indifferent toward the truth-value of one's assertions. Further, we argue that, while bullshitting and lying are not mutually exclusive, most lies are not instances of bullshitting. The account thereby avoids the problem that Frankfurt's view ultimately is insufficient to adequately distinguish bullshitting and lying.

  • 13.
    Stokke, Andreas
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy. Uppsala University, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS).
    Huvenes, Torfinn
    Information Centrism and the Nature of Contexts2016In: Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 94, no 2, p. 301-314Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Information Centrism is the view that contexts consist of information that can be characterized in terms of the propositional attitudes of the conversational participants. Furthermore, it claims that this notion of context is the only one needed for linguistic theorizing about context-sensitive languages. We argue that Information Centrism is false, since it cannot account correctly for facts about truth and reference in certain cases involving indexicals and demonstratives. Consequently, contexts cannot be construed simply as collections of shared information.

  • 14.
    Stokke, Andreas
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy. Uppsala University, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS).
    Schoubye, A.
    What is Said?2016In: Nous, Vol. 50, no 4, p. 759-793Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is sometimes argued that certain sentences of natural language fail to express truth conditional contents. Standard examples include e.g. Tipper is ready and Steel is strong enough. In this paper, we provide a novel analysis of truth conditional meaning (what is said) using the notion of a question under discussion. This account (i) explains why these types of sentences are not, in fact, semantically underdetermined (yet seem truth conditionally incomplete), (ii) provides a principled analysis of the process by which natural language sentences (in general) can come to have enriched meanings in context, and (iii) shows why various alternative views, e.g. so‐called Radical Contextualism, Moderate Contextualism, and Semantic Minimalism, are partially right in their respective analyses of the problem, but also all ultimately wrong. Our analysis achieves this result using a standard truth conditional and compositional semantics and without making any assumptions about enriched logical forms, i.e. logical forms containing phonologically null expressions.

1 - 14 of 14
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