They say what they mean without sarcasm or equivocation.
The prisoner himself deeply prejudiced his cause by his numerous false statements, and still more by his adherence to the doctrine of equivocation.
Yes, rejoins Lange, but Kant has proved that material are merely mental phenomena; so that the more the materialist proves his case the more surely he is playing into the hands of the idealist - an answer which would be complete if it did not turn on the equivocation of the word " phenomenon," which in science means any positive fact, and not a mere appearance, much less a mental appearance, to sense and sensory experience.
He explained, for instance, when a man was strictly bound to tell the truth; when he might avail himself of the mild licence of an equivocation; and when the Church placed at his service the greater indulgence of a mental reservation.
Kingsley's accusation indeed, in so far as it concerned the Roman clergy generally, was not precisely dealt with; only a passing sentence, in an appendix on lying and equivocation, maintained that English Catholic priests are as truthful as English Catholic laymen; but of the author's own personal rectitude no room for doubt was left.
Garnet, it is true, claimed to limit the justification of equivocation to cases " of necessary defence from injustice and wrong or of the obtaining some good of great importance when there is no danger of harm to others," and he could justify his conduct in lying to the council by their own conduct towards him, which included treacherous eavesdropping and fraud, and also threats of torture.