Category Archives: Psychology Today

Not Exactly a Lie, But…

Is it better to be evasive than to tell an outright lie?

This post at Psychology Today distinguishes lying from misleading, and discusses the ethical significance of the distinction, with reference to Jenny Saul’s book Lying, Misleading, and What is Said (OUP 2012).  I was prompted to think about this by my work on a paper ‘Lies and Coercion’, forthcoming in Michaelson and Stokke (eds.) Lying (OUP), but the post doesn’t draw directly on my paper.

Why Are We So Divided?


After a bitter election, we urgently need more mutual understanding.

This post at Psychology Today uses the US election as hook to introduce ideas about strategic ignorance and social power (with reference to Charles W. Mills).  There are subsurface connections to my paper ‘Social Science as a Guide to Social Metaphysics’, forthcoming in Journal of General Philosophy of Science.



But I Didn’t Mean to Let You Down!

How trustworthiness requires good judgement as well as good intentions.  This post at Psychology Today explores the ways in which we can let other people down when we over-commit, or underestimate the difficulty of a task – this form of untrustworthiness stands alongside the more obvious forms involving dishonesty or intentional manipulation.  I briefly mention situations in which it is difficult for us to say ‘no’ to new commitments.

The post develops a theme which is obvious in philosophical work on trustworthiness in testimony (where competence is to the fore, alongside sincerity), but sometimes less obvious in philosophical work on trust in practical situations.

Who’s Keeping You Quiet?

Fear of people’s reactions can lead us to self-censor

This post at Psychology Today  picks up Kristie Dotson’s work on testimonial smothering as a form of silencing.  I have been using Dotson’s ideas as part of my book project on trustworthiness and competence, particularly in considering how we judge competence in others.  I also briefly discuss these ideas in a forthcoming chapter on trust, distrust and epistemic injustice, for the Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Injustice, edited by Ian James Kidd, José Medina, and Gaile Pohlhaus Jr.