The Virtues of Mendacity: On Lying in Politics (Richard Lectures)

The Virtues of Mendacity: On Lying in Politics (Richard Lectures)

Martin Jay


When Michael Dukakis accused George H. W. Bush of being the "Joe Isuzu of yankee Politics" throughout the 1988 presidential crusade, he asserted in a very American tenor the near-ancient concept that mendacity and politics (and probably ads, too) are inseparable, or not less than intertwined. Our reaction to this phenomenon, writes the well known highbrow historian Martin Jay, has a tendency to vacillate—often impotently—between ethical outrage and amoral realism. within the Virtues of lying, Jay resolves to prevent this traditional framing of the talk over mendacity and politics by means of analyzing what has been acknowledged in help of, and competition to, political mendacity from Plato and St. Augustine to Hannah Arendt and Leo Strauss. Jay proceeds to teach that every philosopher’s argument corresponds to a selected notion of the political realm, which decisively shapes his or her perspective towards political lying. He then applies this perception to quite a few contexts and questions on mendacity and politics. strangely, he concludes via asking if mendacity in politics is basically all that undesirable. The political hypocrisy that american citizens particularly periodically decry can be, in Jay’s view, the simplest replacement to the violence justified via those that declare to grasp the truth.

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