Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xiv

This book explores a variety of issues about the importance of sincerity and freedom of speech, in morality and in the law. It began as two lectures offered in honor of two inspiring women: “Lying and the Murderer Next Door,” given in honor of Mala Kamm at New York University, and...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-4

We cannot develop or flourish in isolation. Our mutual interdependence is not merely material but also, importantly, mental. The exchange of thoughts, beliefs, emotions, perceptions, and ideas with others is essential to each person’s ability to function well as a thinker and as a moral agent...

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1. Lies and the Murderer Next Door

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pp. 5-46

Benjamin Constant famously complained about a “German philosopher” who implausibly maintained that “it would be a crime to lie to a murderer who asked us whether a friend of ours whom he is pursuing has taken refuge in our house.”² In response to this allegation, Immanuel...

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2. Duress and Moral Progress

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pp. 47-78

The dominant view about duress holds that, generally, unjustified or wrongfully exerted coercion entirely exonerates the party subjected to undue pressure from responsibility for whatever actions the duress produces.¹ This is a powerful and attractive view. It makes sense, other things...

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3. A Thinker-Based Approach to Freedom of Speech

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pp. 79-115

Chapter One argued that because of its potential for precision and directness, discursive communication plays a special role in our moral lives. Its reliability renders possible, for example, commitments of trust under fraught circumstances of the kind that I have just discussed in Chapter...

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4. Lying and Freedom of Speech

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pp. 116-156

In Chapter One, I argued that a lie is an assertion that the speaker knows she does not believe, but nevertheless deliberately asserts, in a context that, objectively interpreted, represents that assertion as to be taken by the listener as true and as believed by the speaker. Given that understanding...

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5. Accommodation, Equality, and the Liar

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pp. 157-181

In Chapter Four, I argued that legal regulation of lies need not violate freedom of speech. In particular, I contended that well-crafted regulations need not be content-discriminatory in any normatively significant way, that the permissible regulation of lies does not require a particularized...

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6. Sincerity and Institutional Values

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pp. 182-224

Previous chapters have focused on the sincerity, promissory fidelity, and free expression of individuals. I have argued that we have a basic, compulsory responsibility to establish and maintain feasible conditions under which we can understand and carry out our moral duties. This requires...

Index

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pp. 225-234