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Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life Paperback – September 14, 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
It is rare to read a book, where the author is critical of society because of thier choice to allow and accept little white lies as normal behavior. After finishing this book, the reader can take this information and begin to think of ethical and moral problems in our society and why we accept certain actions.
Bok continued choice to tackle ethical issues is a noteworthy endeavor - especially when she writes quality work such as _Lying_.
Even its structure of the discussion about lying around started me thinking in new ways about the topic. The analysis presented was organized and orderly on a topic that deals with much of human interaction.
This book is a must read - you will lie less after reading it.
Bok could be described as an enlightened utilitarian: she concedes that the benefits of lying can occasionally outweigh the costs, but she insists that the costs be weighed realistically and sensitively. To do so, she proposes the use of a hypothetical "publicity test" to consider how reasonable people would discuss and evaluate the broad, long-run effects of a deceptive practice. The test would cast its net widely and assess the impact of deception on duped individuals, the level of social trust, and the characters of liars themselves. When considered this way, the costs of deception almost always outweigh the benefits, Bok believes. She concludes that any ethical evaluation of a deceptive practice should proceed from a strong presumption that lying is wrong.
Her book is great. It's clearly written, filled with references to classic philosophical literature, and savvy about the routine deceptions practiced in government and the professions. As she puts it, if knowledge is power, then lying alters the balance of power. I definitely want to read the companion volume on "Secrets." I knocked off one star only because some sections of "Lying" tend to meander and reach no clear conclusions. Maybe that's a problem inherent in casuistry.
My advice is that if you don't want to know how dishonest or unethical you are in your life, don't read this book, but if you want to see where you are going wrong or you think you are really ethical, read this book to see just how ethical and honest you are in your life. I think you will be amazed at the results.
Another thing I can say about this book is that I am currently in a media ethics and mroal reasoning class, and I have read a few books in this class, but I personally think this is the best one I have read in the class.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gets a bit tedious toward the end but is a great analysis of a rarely discussed subject.Published 4 months ago by estelle stamm
If interested in Sissela Bok, be certain to read Lying first, followed by Secrets. Lying establishes Bok’s style perfectly, and raises questions about the ethics of interpersonal... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a book of philosophy that painstakingly examines kinds of lying and when lying might be justified. It is not a sociological or psychological examination of why people lie,Published 16 months ago by Lynnette Taylor