David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):231–258 (2007)
I propose that paradigmatic cases of self-deception satisfy the following conditions: (a) the person who is self-deceived about not-P pretends (in the sense of makes-believe or imagines or fantasizes) that not-P is the case, often while believing that P is the case and not believing that not-P is the case; (b) the pretense that not-P largely plays the role normally played by belief in terms of (i) introspective vivacity and (ii) motivation of action in a wide range of circumstances. Understanding self-deception in this way is highly natural. And it provides a non-paradoxical characterization of the phenomenon that explains both its distinctive patterns of instability and its ordinary association with irrationality. Why, then, has this diagnosis been overlooked? I suggest that the oversight is due to a failure to recognize the philosophical significance of a crucial fact about the human mind, namely, the degree to which attitudes other than belief often play a central role in our mental and practical lives, both by "influenc[ing our]... passions and imagination," and by "governing.. .our actions."
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References found in this work BETA
Donald Davidson (1980). Essays on Actions and Events. Oxford University Press.
Gerd Gigerenzer (1999). Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart. Oxford University Press.
John M. Doris (2002). Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior. Cambridge University Press.
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Citations of this work BETA
David Rose, Wesley Buckwalter & John Turri (2014). When Words Speak Louder Than Actions: Delusion, Belief, and the Power of Assertion. Australasian Journal of Philosophy (4):1-18.
Kevin Lynch (2012). On the “Tension” Inherent in Self-Deception. Philosophical Psychology 25 (3):433-450.
Jason D'Cruz (2014). Rationalization as Performative Pretense. Philosophical Psychology 28 (7):980-1000.
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