David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Psychology 16 (1):127-148 (2003)
This paper argues that self-deception cannot be explained without employing a depth-psychological ("psychodynamic") notion of the unconscious, and therefore that mainstream academic psychology must make space for such approaches. The paper begins by explicating the notion of a dynamic unconscious. Then a brief account is given of the "paradoxes" of self-deception. It is shown that a depth-psychological self of parts and subceptive agency removes any such paradoxes. Next, several competing accounts of self-deception are considered: an attentional account, a constructivist account, and a neo-Sartrean account. Such accounts are shown to face a general dilemma: either they are able only to explain unmotivated errors of self-perception--in which case they are inadequate for their intended purpose--or they are able to explain motivated self-deception, but do so only by being instantiation mechanisms for depth-psychological processes. The major challenge to this argument comes from the claim that self-deception has a "logic" different to other-deception--the position of Alfred Mele. In an extended discussion it is shown that any such account is explanatorily adequate only for some cases of self-deception--not by any means all. Concluding remarks leave open to further empirical work the scope and importance of depth-psychological approaches.
|Keywords||Depth Psychology Self-deception Unconscious Psychodynamic|
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References found in this work BETA
Ernest R. Hilgard (1977). Divided Consciousness: Multiple Controls in Human Thought and Action. Wiley.
Jean-Paul Sartre (1956/1994). Being and Nothingness. Distributed by Random House.
Alfred R. Mele (2001). Self-Deception Unmasked. Princeton University Press.
Jerry A. Fodor (1968). The Appeal to Tacit Knowledge in Psychological Explanation. Journal of Philosophy 65 (October):627-40.
Citations of this work BETA
Robert Lockie (2014). Three Recent Frankfurt Cases. Philosophia 42 (4):1005-1032.
Kevin Lynch (2014). Self-Deception and Shifts of Attention. Philosophical Explorations 17 (1):63-75.
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