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When we lie, shame and chagrin can befall not only ourselves but also those we deceive. Philosophers, however, argue that there exists a socially endorsed form of dishonesty, and that lying might even be what keeps the world turning. To help make sense of lying in an age in which trumped-up stories now infiltrate our news channels, politics and daily reality more than ever before, Harriet Fitch Little examines the difference between telling a “good lie” and being a good liar.

It is quite possible that we have never lied more. This has been a year of unpleasant new media coinages: “fake news, ” “post-truth, ” “alternative facts.” In our private lives, technological advancement makes lying incrementally easier: Fibbing to a partner that you’re “working late” slips out more easily screen-to-screen than face-to-face (although, even in person, 60 percent of us can’t go 10 minutes without lying). Social media has accelerated the speed at which lies of all stripes are disseminated

  • Words:
    Harriet Fitch Little

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