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December 1928


Arch NeurPsych. 1928;20(6):1284-1311. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1928.02210180135007

"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." This commandment is duplicated in form and spirit in almost every formulated religious and ethical system. Nevertheless, deviations from this ideal are so exceedingly common that many have said with the psalmist, "I said in my haste, all men are liars."

HISTORY  The history of man reveals interesting material concerning lying as a part of ordinary human relationships. There are many illustrations of varied angles to the subject: One may think in terms of Ananias, Jacob, Cellini, Falstaff, Baron Munchausen and Dr. Cooke. One may dwell on the unique Academy of Liars among the Gascons. One may think of Hermes as the god of lying. One may dwell on interesting anthropologic facts such as that Samoan children, like those of old Sparta, were taught to lie, and that the Arabs have a moral code that condones dishonesty and violence. Man lies

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