In this excellent and enjoyable book, Jennifer Saul explores issues at the convergence of the philosophy of language and ethics. Her book is an excellent addition to a growing literature of what might be considered applied philosophy of language.
In chapter 1 Saul lays out her definition of lying. She indicates that although there are senses of lying that may include all intentional deceptions, she is only interested in the sense of lying that contrasts with misleading; and this will importantly involve the notion of saying. That there is a linguistic distinction between lying and misleading is quite intuitive. Saul illustrates the distinction with the following statement by former president Clinton on his relationship with Monica Lewinsky,
(1) There is no improper relationship.
If we are taking ‘is’ in (1) as a present-tense denial, then it seems Clinton cannot be charged with lying if at the time he was not involved with Lewinsky. Although (1) might be misleading, what Clinton said was strictly speaking true (as opposed to what he may have conveyed, which is that he and Lewinsky never had any improper relations, at anytime whatsoever). [Click here to read on]