Lies and honest mistakes
The other day, I told a friend that Knoxville is the capital of Tennessee. Five seconds and a blur of fingers later, he said: ‘No, it’s Nashville.’
My statement was obviously not true. But since I sincerely believed in the accuracy of what I was saying, I was nonetheless being truthful. I was mistaken, not mendacious. This distinction between truth and truthfulness is vital, but in danger of being lost in debates over ‘post-truth’ politics and ‘fake news’.