When Information Is Omitted in an Argument, Is It Always Done With the Intent to Deceive?
From Lessig’s metaphor we can see that theft, and even copyright infringement, are not entirely apt ways to think about plagiarism. But Lessig’s metaphor does not help us understand that, in academic writing, acknowledgment of sources is highly valued. Neither does it reveal that taking ideas and using them in your own writing, with conventional attribution, is a sophisticated skill that requires a good deal of practice to master.
It is possible to deceive by making a truthful and true statement that intentionally implies a falsehood. It is also possible to deceive using truthful statements that are not assertions, such as jokes, ironic statements, and even the lines of a play delivered on stage, so long as the intention to deceive can be formed. If, for example, I am asked if I stole the money, and I reply in an ironic tone, “Yeah, right, of course I did,” when I did steal the money, intending that I be believed to have not stolen the money, and if I am believed, then I have deceived using a truthful statement (it is unclear if such cases of “telling the truth falsely” (Frank 2009, 57) are to be considered as cases of paltering). According to Saul, it is not possible to lie if one does not believe that one is in a warranting context. Saul considers the case of a putative lie told in a totalitarian state: “This is the case of utterances demanded by a totalitarian state. These utterances of sentences supporting the state are made by people who don’t believe them, to people who don’t believe them. Everyone knows that false things are being said, and that they are only being said only because they are required by the state. […] It seems somewhat reasonable to suggest that, since everyone is forced to make these false utterances, and everyone knows they are false, they cease to be genuine lies”.
A patentee’s mere proof of supposed “good faith” as to some other related issue (such as belief in patentability) does the patentee no good in the face of deceptive intent because “there is no such thing as a good faith intent to deceive.”
Frank, M. G., 2009. ‘Thoughts, Feelings, and Deception,’ in B. Harrington, (ed.), Deception: From Ancient Empires to Internet Dating, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 55–73.
Kant, I., Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, The Metaphysics of Morals, and On a supposed right to lie from philanthropy, M. J. Gregor (trans.), in Immanuel Kant, Practical Philosophy, A. W. Wood and M. J. Gregor (eds.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Constant, B., 1964. Des réactions politiques, in O. P. di Borgo (ed.), Écrits et discours politiques, Paris: Pauvert.
Davidson, D., 1980. ‘Deception and Division,’ in J. Elster (ed.), The Multiple Self, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 79–92