A Formal Account of Dishonesty

Chiaki Sakama, Martin Caminada and Andreas Herzig

Logic Journal of the IGPL, vol.23(2), pages 259-294, 2015.


This paper provides formal accounts of dishonest attitudes of agents. We introduce a propositional multi-modal logic that can represent an agent's belief and intention as well as communication between agents. Using the language, we formulate different categories of dishonesty. We first provide two different definitions of lies and provide their logical properties. We then consider an incentive behind the act of lying and introduce lying with objectives. We subsequently define bullshit, withholding information and half-truths, and analyze their formal properties. We compare different categories of dishonesty in a systematic manner, and examine their connection to deception. We also propose maxims for dishonest communication that agents should ideally try to satisfy.

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