Truthful Liars: How They are Possible

Giovanni Tuzet

Bocconi University - Department of Law

June 14, 2013

Bocconi Legal Studies Research Paper

I claim that truth is not a norm of belief and assertion in the sense that having a belief and making an assertion commit us to the truth of what is believed and asserted. I try to show that making an assertion commits one to sincerity, not to truth. But of course this does not throw the concept of truth out of the picture: since asserting that p is asserting that one believes that p, and believing that p is believing that p is true, making an assertion we are committed to believe that what we say is true. Similarly for belief: even though believing that p is believing that p is true, having a belief does not really commit one to truth, but to justification.

This explains how it is possible to be a truthful liar, namely one who asserts that p while he believes that non-p and it is in fact true that p.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 6

Keywords: Assertion, Belief, Peirce, Sincerity, Truth

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Date posted: December 19, 2016  

Suggested Citation

Tuzet, Giovanni, Truthful Liars: How They are Possible (June 14, 2013). Bocconi Legal Studies Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2887391 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2887391

Contact Information

Giovanni Tuzet (Contact Author)
Bocconi University - Department of Law ( email )
Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
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