The Moral Gradation of Media of Deception

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A central debate in the ethics of deception concerns the moral comparison among the three media through which deception is executed: lying, falsely implicating, or nonlinguistic deception. The two prominent views are that lying is morally worse or that the choice of medium is morally insignificant. This article refutes both and argues for a new position. The article first presents a theory on the moral significance of the medium of deception as such: it argues that the medium of communication affects the reliability of beliefs formed through it, which amounts to gradations in the warrant of truth of different media. Breach of lower warrant of truth is a lesser breach of trust; it therefore deserves lighter condemnation. Consequently, the article shows that, morally speaking, lying is either worse than or equal to falsely implicating and that there is no a priori gradation between nonlinguistic deception and the two linguistic media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-82
Number of pages23
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • falsely implicating
  • lying
  • nonlinguistic deception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


Dive into the research topics of 'The Moral Gradation of Media of Deception'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this