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    • Abstract:
      Uncertainty about what motivates "senders" of public messages leads "receivers" to "read between the lines" to discern the sender's deepest commitments. Anticipating this, senders "write between the lines," editing their expressions so as to further their own ends. I examine how this interactive process of inference and deceit affects the quality and extent of public deliberations on sensitive issues. A principle conclusion is that genuine moral discourse on difficult social issues can become impossible when the risks of upsetting some portion of one's audience are too great. Reliance on euphemism and platitude should be expected in this strategic climate. Groups may embark on a tragic course of action, believed by many at the outset to be ill-conceived, but that has become impossible to criticize. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
      Copyright of Rationality & Society is the property of Sage Publications, Ltd. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)