This book shows how language can be used strategically to manipulate beliefs.
From Machiavelli to P. T. Barnum to Donald Trump, many have perfected the art of strategically using language to gain the upper hand, set a tone, change the subject, or influence people's beliefs and behaviors. Language--both words themselves and rhetorical tactics such as metaphor, irony, slang, and humor--can effectively manipulate the minds of the listener.
In this book, Marcel Danesi, a renowned linguistic anthropologist and semiotician, looks at language that is used not to present arguments logically or rationally, but to "move" audiences in order to gain their confidence and build consensus. He demonstrates that through language techniques communicators can not only sway opinions but also shape listeners' very perception of reality. He assesses how the communicative environment in which the art of the lie unfolds--such as on social media or in emotionally-charged gatherings--impacts the results.
Danesi also investigates why lies are often accepted as valid. Artful lying fits in with an Internet society that is largely disinterested in what is true and what is false and in which attention is often given to speech that is entertaining or persuasive. Have we become immune to lies because of a social media discourse shaped by untruths? In an electronic age where facts are deemed irrelevant and conspiracies are accorded as much credibility as truths, this book discusses the implications of lying and language for the future of belief, ethics, and American democracy itself.
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 386 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
""When systematic lying is the modus operandi of the most powerful leader on the planet, it becomes vitally important to understand the power of linguistic manipulation to distort perceptions of reality and discourage critical thinking. There are many more facets to the successful lie than simply not telling the truth, and this book provides an excellent analysis of how those various elements can be so effective. I highly recommend The Art of the Lie to all who strive to understand and confront deceit, political or otherwise."
-James Alcock, PhD, professor of psychology at York University and author of Belief: What It Means to Believe and Why Our Convictions Are So Compelling
"When lies are weaponized, defenders of truth need an equally potent weapon to fight back. Marcel Danesi's The Art of the Lie is the weapon that can defeat the liars and leave them no retreat."
-Keith M. Parsons, professor of philosophy and humanities, University of Houston-Clear Lake, and coauthor of Polarized