CFP: Wittgenstein on Lying – International Conference

Submission deadline: December 15, 2023

Conference date(s):
May 16, 2024 - May 17, 2024

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This event is available both online and in-person

Conference Venue:

Archives Henri-Poincaré (AHPReST), University of Lorraine
Nancy, France

Topic areas


The question of the nature of lying is very present in Ludwig Wittgenstein’s later texts. Lying is often understood as “speaking against one’s thought with the intention of deceiving”, which presupposes that a person who lies is entirely transparent to themselves and has a unique access to their distinctive mental states. Yet Wittgenstein is well known to precisely challenge this “myth of interiority” (the expression comes from Jacques Bouveresse), i.e. the thesis, sometimes called “mentalist”, that thinking presupposes awareness of meanings that are in the mind, and to which each consciousness then alone has access. Indeed, much of Wittgenstein’s “philosophy of psychology” consisted in analyzing the difficulties encountered by this presupposition of psychological interiority. Then how can we define lying if it cannot consist in speaking against one’s conscious thinking, disguising it in and through what we say?

The aim of the symposium is twofold. In the first place, we would like to gain a better understanding of what Wittgenstein says about lying (and hence of his philosophy of meaning and psychology). Secondly, we would like to better understand the nature of lying itself, its moral, anthropological and interactional stakes, with Wittgenstein, but also with inputs from other traditions and methods (ethnomethodology in particular).  

Call for papers

Presentations on any area mentioned in the presentation are most welcome. Abstracts of no more than 400 words should be sent to [email protected] by December 15, 2023. Successful applicants will be notified by December 30, 2023. All queries should be directed to A. C. Zielinska.

There is no registration fee, but the conference dinner will be offered at the participants’ own expense and travel and accomodation expenses will not be reimbursed.

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