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ABSTRACT. This paper provides an introduction to the history and practice of lying in public life. The paper argues that such an approach is required to balance the emphasis on truth and truth-telling. Truth and lies, truth-telling and the practice of lying are concepts of binary opposition that help define one another. The paper reviews Foucault’s work on truth-telling before analyzing the “culture of lying” and its relation to public life by focusing on Arendt’s work. pp. 43–56

Keywords: lying; Foucault; truth-telling; culture of lying; Arendt

MICHAEL A. PETERS
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University of Waikato;
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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