Deceiving oneself or self-deceived? On the formation of beliefs under the influence

Mind 108 (430):265-290 (1999)
Abstract
How does a subject who is competent to detect the irrationality of a belief that p, form her belief against weighty or even conclusive evidence to the contrary? The phenomenon of self-deception threatens a widely shared view of beliefs according to which they do not regularly correspond to emotions and evaluative attitudes. Accordingly, the most popular answer to this question is that the belief formed in self-deception is caused by an intention to form that belief. On this view, the state of self-deception is taken to be a calculated outcome involving a person's intentional manipulation of her own thoughts. I argue that this answer is false and forms an impediment towards making sense of self-deception. I show that, contrary to philosophical prejudice, emotions and desires exert vast and systematic effects on the formation of beliefs. In this, and other, sections of the article, the results of experimental work are brought forward. Self-deception is portrayed here as resembling numerous instances of belief formation which are regularly affected by motivational factors. I argue that self-deceptive beliefs are direct expressions of the subject's wishes, fears and hopes. Qua beliefs which mostly correspond to such factors (rather than to evidence), self-deceptive states are a kind of fantasy
Keywords Belief  Deception  Epistemology  Irrationality  Self
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,018
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA
Tamar Szabó Gendler (2007). Self-Deception as Pretense. Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):231–258.
Paul Noordhof (2003). Self-Deception, Interpretation and Consciousness. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (1):75-100.

View all 7 citations

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

52 ( #30,728 of 1,101,073 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

10 ( #19,605 of 1,101,073 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.