Lying and omissions

Don Fallis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Work in the philosophy of deception tends to focus on outright lying. However, saying something that you believe to be false is not the only way to intentionally cause people to have false beliefs. This chapter focuses on deceiving people by *not* saying things. Not speaking may constitute lying, in contexts where it can be construed as a communication. Deceptive omissions, such as half-truths and lies of omission, can be just as common, just as misleading, and just as dangerous at outright lies. Grice’s “first maxim of Quality” and “first maxim of Quantity” are used in directing the discussion. The chapter investigates the ontology, the epistemology, and the ethics of deceptive omissions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Lying
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780198736578
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Acts of omission
  • Causation by omission
  • Deception
  • Dissimulation
  • Grice’s maxims
  • Half-truths
  • Lies of omission
  • Lying
  • Misleading
  • Withholding information

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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