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4 - Lies, Fiction and Slander in Early Greek Poetry (1993)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 December 2021

Ewen Bowie
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
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Summary

Most first-order discourse is sent out into the world with some presumption that statements and wishes are true and that commands are a true reflection of wishes. A system of verbal communication in which this was not so would soon break down – as indeed would a non-verbal system of communication in which signs could not be interpreted as, in most cases, true indicators of assertions, wishes or commands. If I were to utter such sentences as ‘The tonic has run out’, or ‘I would like another gin’ or ‘Please put in some more ice’, in such a random way that there was no way of my addressee knowing how he was expected to react, I would rapidly exclude myself from the world of articulately-speaking bread-eating and, indeed, gin-drinking mortals.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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