But there are other types of objections two. Let us label them:
II. ALLEGED COUNTER-EXAMPLES TO THE SUFFICIENCY OF THE FOUR-PRONG ANALYSANS:
The Conditions Are Not Jointly Sufficient. It has been objected that (L1) is
not sufficient for lying because it is also necessary that the untruthful
statement be false.
This is the "falsity" condition for lying.
For most objectors, the falsity condition supplements (L1) and makes this
definition of lying even narrower.
For other objectors, the falsity condition is part of a different conceptual
analysis of lying, and makes that analysis narrower.
It has been objected that (L1) is not sufficient for lying because it is also
necessary to intend that that addressee believe that that statement is believed
to be true.
If Harry makes the untruthful statement
I have no change in my pocket.
to Michael, but Harry does not intend that Michael believe that Harry believes
it to be true, it is not the case that Harry lies, even if Harry intends that
Michael believe it to be true.
This additional condition would make (L1) even narrower, since it would have
the result that it is not the case that Maximilian lies to Alessandro in our
It has also been objected that (L1) is insufficient, because lying requires
that an untruthful assertion be made, and not merely that an untruthful
statement be made.
This is the "asserting" condition for lying.
According to these alleged counter-examples, one does not lie when one makes a
deceptive untruthful ironic statement (‘irony lie’), or a deceptive untruthful
joke (‘joke lie’), or a deceptive untruthful fiction (‘fiction lie’), or
deceptive untruthful acting (‘acting life’), since in none of these cases is
one making an assertion.
For most objectors, the 'asserting' condition supplements (L1) and makes (L1)
For others, the "asserting" condition is part of a different conceptual
analysis of lying, and makes that definition narrower.
The most important objection to (L1) is that lying does not require an
intention to deceive.
This has led to a division amongst those writing on the conceptual analysis of
There are two positions held by those who philosophise on the conceptual
analysis of lying, the deceptionists and the non-deceptionists.
The first group, the Deceptionists, hold that an intention to deceive is
necessary for lying.
Deceptionists may be divided further in turn into simple Deceptionists, who
hold that lying requires the making of an untruthful statement with an
intention to deceive.
Complex Deceptionists, on the other hand, hold that lying requires the making
of an untruthful assertion with the intention to deceive by means of a breach
of trust or faith.
There are Moral Deceptionists, who hold that lying requires the making of an
untruthful statement with the intention to deceive, as well as the violation of
a moral right of another or the moral wronging of another.
The non-deceptionists, hold that an intention to deceive is not necessary for
Non-deceptionists see the traditional definition as both incorrect and
Non-deceptionists may be further divided into simple Non-Deceptionists, who
hold that the making of an untruthful statement is sufficient for lying, and
Complex Non-Deceptionists, who hold that a further condition, in addition to
making an untruthful statement, is required for lying.
Some complex non-deceptionists hold that lying requires warranting the truth of
what is stated.
Other complex non-Deceptionists hold that lying requires the making of an
Simple deceptionists include those who defend (L1) as well as those who defend
the modified versions of this definition: (L2), (L3), (L4), and (L5).
For simple deceptionists, lying requires the making of an untruthful statement
with an intention to deceive, but it does not require the making of an
assertion or a breach of trust or faith.
Complex deceptionists hold that, in addition to requiring an intention to
deceive, lying requires the making of an untruthful assertion, as well as (or
which therefore entails) a breach of trust or faith.
Some hold that the utterer is only making an assertion to an addressee if the
utterer makes a statement to the addressee and the utterer believes that the
conditions are such that the addressee is justified in believing both that one
believes one’s statement to be true and that one intends that the other person
believe that one believes one’s statement to be true.
U asserts p to A =df
U states p to A and does so under conditions which, he believes, justify A in
believing that he, U, not only accepts p, but also intends to contribute
causally to U’s believing that he, U, accepts p."
A lie is an untruthful assertion, that is, the utterer U believes the statement
that is made is not true, or is false:
U lies =df
There is a proposition p such that
(i) either U believes that p is not true or U believes that p is false and
(ii) U asserts p.
In the case of a lie, U is attempting to get A to believe a falsehood.
Note, however, that this falsehood is not (normally) what the utterer U is
Rather, the falsehood that the utterer U is attempting to get the addressee A
to believe is that the utterer U believes the statement to be true.
This is the intention to deceive in lying, although, strictly speaking,
deception is foreseen and not intended.
Essentially, under this definition, the utterer U only lies if U expect that U
will be successful in deceiving A about what U believes.
The utterer U is also attempting to get the addressee A to have this false
belief about what the utterer U believes in a special way—by getting his victim
to place his faith in him.
This is the breach of trust or breach of faith in lying.
Lying, unlike the other types of deception, is essentially a breach of faith.
Their complete definition of a lie may be stated as follows:
- (L6)U lies =df
(i) U makes a believed-false or believed-not-true statement to another person
(ii) U believes that the conditions are such that A is justified in believing
that the statement is believed to be true by the person making the statement;
(iii) U believes that the conditions are such that A is justified in believing
that the person making the statement intends to contribute causally to the
other person believing that the statement is believed to be true by the person
making the statement.
According to (L6), it not possible to lie if U believes that the conditions are
such that the addressee A is not justified in believing that the utterer U is
making a truthful statement.
Some provide an alleged counter-example: a thief grabs a victim by the throat
and asks him where he keeps his money.
If the victim were to make the untruthful statement,
I have no money.
the objector says it is not the case that the victim lies, for thief knows that
he also has no right whatever to demand the truth from the victim.
Some hold that the victim is not making an assertion, and hence, is not lying,
given that the victim believes that the thief is not justified in believing
that the victim is being truthful.
Some hold that the thief can believe that the victim is credible, even if not
trustworthy, because he is motivated by the threat of violence.
Some hold that lying requires an assertion and a breach of faith, but some
reject (L6,) arguing that it is possible for the victim to lie to the thief in
the "I have no money" example.
According to these objectors, making an assertion involves making a statement
and intending to cause belief in the truth of that statement by giving an
implicit warranty or an implicit promise or assurance that the statement is
When one asserts, one intends to invite belief, and not belief based on the
evidence of the statement so much as on the faith of the statement.
A lie is an untruthful assertion.
The utterer U intends to cause belief in the truth of a statement that the
utterer U believes to be false.
Hence, a lie involves an intention to deceive.