Jessica Pepp: "The Aesthetic Significance of the Lying–Misleading Distinction"

The Higher Seminar in Aesthetics

Jessica Pepp, Uppsala University: "The Aesthetic Significance of the Lying–Misleading Distinction"


Abstract
There is a clear intuitive difference between lying and attempting to mislead. Recent efforts to analyze this difference, and to define lying in ways that respect it, are motivated by the conviction that the difference is important or significant in some way. Traditionally, the importance of the lying-misleading distinction has been cashed out in moral terms, but this approach faces a number of challenges. The purpose of this paper is to suggest and develop a different way in which the lying-misleading distinction might be important: it might matter aesthetically. I propose that the aesthetic significance of the distinction inheres in a more prominent experienced disharmony in lying as compared with attempting to mislead.