Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Is it excusable to lie to children, to the dying? Is it just to lie in order to avoid great harm?: Some of the topics covered in this enlightening, refreshingly pragmatic account of the ethics of deception.

-- Ryan

— From Ryan J. Staff Picks


Is it ever all right to lie? A philosopher looks at lying and deception in public and private life--in government, medicine, law, academia, journalism, in the family and between friends.

Lying is a penetrating and thoughtful examination of one of the most pervasive yet little discussed aspects of our public and private lives. Beginning with the moral questions raised about lying since antiquity, Sissela Bok takes up the justifications offered for all kinds of lies--white lies, lies to the sick and dying, lies of parents to children, lies to enemies, lies to protect clients and peers. The consequences of such lies are then explored through a number of concrete situations in which people are involved, either as liars or as the victims of a lie.

About the Author

Sissela Bok is a senior visiting fellow at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. Previously, she was a professor of philosophy at Brandeis Univeristy. She is the author of Lying: Moral Choice in Private and Public Life; Secrets: On the Ethics of Concealment and Revelation; A Strategy for Peace: Human Values and the Threat of War; Alva Myrdal: A Daughter's Memoir; Mayhem: Violence as Public Entertainment; Common Values; and Exploring Happiness: From Aristotle to Brain Science. A former member of the Pulitzer Prize Board, Bok is a fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780375705281
ISBN-10: 0375705287
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: September 14th, 1999
Pages: 368
Language: English
Series: Vintage