THE ROLE OF LYING IN POLITICS

  • Kathrin Bouvot Department of Philosophy, University of Vienn

Abstract

The aim of my paper is to discuss the question of whether in the political
climate lying is to be seen as a skill, something that an effective politician must do,
or whether it is an absolute “no go” realm. Are lying and deception necessary
“skills” for achieving success in politics? Is truthfulness in politics a contradiction
in itself? Is the political business as such not dirty by nature? When we think about
the remarkable number of lies which have been concocted and distributed by
politicians in the recent past, the impression that politics and lies indeed go handin-
hand emerges, and that the ideal image of politics as a rational instrument for
the formulation of generally binding objectives is fraudulent. Should a distinction
be made between lies that pursue harmful goals and lies that aim to achieve a good
aim? Should politicians be morally justified to lie in order to realise well-meant
political objectives?

Published
2019-05-03
Section
LYING AND HYPOCRISY IN POLITICS AND MORALITY, WITH RUTH GRANT