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2018 - RSA Words: 141 words || 
1. Giles-Watson, Maura. "The Liar Paradox: Truth as Cheating in the Liars' Contest in John Heywood’s The Foure PP" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the RSA, Hilton New Orleans Riverside, New Orleans, Louisiana, <Not Available>. 2019-11-21 <>
Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: The Liar Paradox asserts that the liar who admits he is lying is telling the truth whilst yet he lies. In John Heywood’s Henrician court debate play The Foure PP, the Pedler proposes a lying contest among the Pardoner, the ‘Potecary, and the Palmer. After each tells his story, the Pedler gives the win tithe Palmer, whose claim that he never encountered a woman “out of patience” is met with unanimous disbelief. Yet, the Palmer’s tale alone is not demonstrably false, so he may have won by telling the truth – a deception in this rhetorical milieu. Situating Heywood within the More-Erasmus circle, this paper analyzes the lying contest in the context of Renaissance humanist ethics and rhetoric and with regard to the political debates at Henry VIII’s court in and around 1530 when this play was written and first performed.

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