deceit
The intentional attempt to mislead people. It gives rise to questions of definition (separating it from such neighbours as exaggeration, irony, parody) and to questions of justification. Many moral traditions separate the deliberate lie from the equally deliberate failure to tell the whole truth, it being thought that the former, an act, is worse, other things being equal, than the latter (see acts/omissions doctrine ). However, since each may involve the same end and the same strategy of manipulation of other people's opinion and action, the difference is difficult to defend in all cases. The absolutist position on lying is defended by Kant : it is an unconditional duty to tell the truth, come what may. Others urge that while in a perfect world this would be so, deceit may be justified when one is faced with the evil or the incompetent, or the need for self-defence in the face of injustice, or the need to promote sufficiently important goods. The difficulty is to defend a departure from the absolutist position that does not justify lying for the sake of mere expediency.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

Synonyms:

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  • deceit — de·ceit n: deliberate and misleading concealment, false declaration, or artifice: deception theft by deceit; also: the tort of committing or carrying out deceit an action for deceit see also fraud, misrepresentation …   Law dictionary

  • deceit — 1 Deceit, duplicity, dissimulation, cunning, guile mean the quality, the habit, the act, or the practice of imposing upon the credulity of others by dishonesty, fraud, or trickery. Deceit usually implies the intent to mislead or delude; otherwise …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Deceit — De*ceit , n. [OF. deceit, des[,c]ait, decept (cf. deceite, de[,c]oite), fr. L. deceptus deception, fr. decipere. See {Deceive}.] 1. An attempt or disposition to deceive or lead into error; any declaration, artifice, or practice, which misleads… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • deceit — de‧ceit [dɪˈsiːt] noun [countable, uncountable] behaviour that is intended to make someone believe something that is not true: • Victims of the firm s fraud and deceit are seeking redress in the courts. * * * deceit UK US /dɪˈsiːt/ noun [U] ►… …   Financial and business terms

  • Deceit — Album par This Heat Sortie 1981 Enregistrement 1981 Durée 40:45 Genre Post punk Rock expérimental Producteur …   Wikipédia en Français

  • deceit — [n1] practice of misleading ambidexterity, ambidextrousness, artifice, cheating, chicane, chicanery, cozening, craft, craftiness, cunning, deceitfulness, deception, defrauding, dirty dealing*, dirty pool*, dishonesty, dissemblance, dissimulation …   New thesaurus

  • deceit — c.1300, from O.Fr. deceite, fem. pp. of deceveir (see DECEIVE (Cf. deceive)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • deceit — ► NOUN 1) the action or practice of deceiving. 2) a deceitful act or statement …   English terms dictionary

  • deceit — [dē sēt′, disēt′] n. [ME < OFr deceite < pp. of deceveir: see DECEIVE] 1. the act of representing as true what is known to be false; a deceiving or lying 2. a dishonest action or trick; fraud or lie 3. the quality of being deceitful …   English World dictionary

  • deceit — /di seet /, n. 1. the act or practice of deceiving; concealment or distortion of the truth for the purpose of misleading; duplicity; fraud; cheating: Once she exposed their deceit, no one ever trusted them again. 2. an act or device intended to… …   Universalium

  • deceit — de•ceit [[t]dɪˈsit[/t]] n. 1) the act or practice of deceiving 2) a stratagem intended to deceive 3) the quality of being deceitful; duplicity • Etymology: 1225–75; deceite < OF, n. use of fem. of deceit, ptp. of deceivre to deceive syn:… …   From formal English to slang

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