Being Economical with the Truth in Early Modern England
There were few subjects that animated people in early modern Europe more than lying. The subject is endlessly represented and discussed in literature; treatises on rhetoric and courtiership; theology, philosophy, and jurisprudence; travel writing; pamphlets and news books; science and empirical observation; popular culture, especially books about strange, unexplained phenomena; and, of course, legal discourse. For many, lying could be controlled and limited even if not eradicated; for others, lying was a necessary element of a casuistical tradition, liars balancing complicated issues and short-term pragmatic considerations in the expectation of solving more problems than they caused through their deceit....
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