Coercion and lies

Katherine Hawley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Can we be coerced into lying? Or does the very fact of coercion undercut the possibility of making an assertion? Through discussion of capitulations and other forms of coerced speech, this chapter explores the ways in which apparent assertions may be drained of standard normative significance, and thus excluded from the category of lies. Coerced pseudo-assertions are in this way similar to coerced pseudo-promises, and to coerced pseudo-gifts, neither of which have the standard normative significance associated with genuine promises and gifts. Nevertheless, our speech and actions under coercion are liable to moral evaluation, and coercion does not always make it permissible to speak falsely or attempt to mislead an audience.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLying
Subtitle of host publicationlanguage, knowledge, ethics, and politics
EditorsEliot Michaelson, Andreas Stokke
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191866791
ISBN (Print)9780198743965
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

Publication series



  • Coercion
  • Duress
  • Lies
  • Assertion
  • Promises
  • Gifts


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