Lying, belief, and paradox

The Liar paradox is often informally described in terms of someone uttering the sentence: I am lying right now. If we equate lying with merely uttering a falsehood, then this is (roughly speaking)
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The Liar paradox is often informally described in terms of someone uttering the sentence: I am lying right now. If we equate lying with merely uttering a falsehood, then this is (roughly speaking) equivalent to a somewhat more formal, more precise version of the paradox that arises by considering a sentence like: This sentence is false. If we accuse someone of lying, however, we don’t typically mean that someone merely told a falsehood. For example, if someone tells you that the Earth is hollow because they truly believe that to be the case, we wouldn’t typically call that person a liar. Instead, we would be more likely to accuse them merely of getting things wrong. In short, what seems important about lying is not the falsity of the utterance, but rather the intent to deceive. Thus, we might adopt the following definition of lying (the subscript is to distinguish this understanding from a second understanding of lying I will introduce below): S is lying1 when she utters P if and only. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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