Political Lying in Newey and Bellamy

Anno LIV, n. 225-226, maggio-dicembre 2019

Anno LIV, n. 225-226, maggio-dicembre 2019
Articolo completo/Full text


The article provides a qualified defence of Newey’s work on political lying and defends a revamped version of his position from several objections. The structure of the article is as follows. Section 1 lays out Newey’s consent-based argument against political lying as well as his views on when political lying is permissible. It provides an analytic and revamped reconstruction of that argument that remains faithful to what it takes to be the key normative kernel of his critique of political lying and it distinguishes between three types of qualifications to its scope. Section 2 shows, contra Bellamy, why Newey’s argument does not constitute “too high a standard” but a rather moderate, if not too timid one by showing that Newey’s core argument i) survives a rejection of a consent-based objection to political lying as a violation of the agreed terms of democratic association; ii) it is in some respects less realist than Bellamy’s preferred approach while more demanding in others; iii) it leaves enough space for civic virtue as a means to robustly safeguarding democratic politics from deception and finally; iv) it provides us with more robust safeguards from political rhetoric and spin than Bellamy’s preferred approach creating in that sense the needed space for genuine agreement based on rationality and empirical knowledge consistent with the democratically approved wishes of the electorate.