Self-Deception, Delusion and the Boundaries of Folk Psychology

Humana Mente 5 (20):203-221 (2012)

Authors
Lisa Bortolotti
University of Birmingham
Matteo Mameli
King's College London
Abstract
To what extent do self-deception and delusion overlap? In this paper we argue that both self-deception and delusions can be understood in folk-psychological terms. “Motivated” delusions, just like self-deception, can be described as beliefs driven by personal interests. If self-deception can be understood folk-psychologically because of its motivational component, so can motivated delusions. Non-motivated delusions also fit the folk-psychological notion of belief, since they can be described as hypotheses one endorses when attempting to make sense of unusual and powerful experiences. We suggest that there is continuity between the epistemic irrationality manifested in self-deception and in delusion.
Keywords self-deception  delusion  epistemic irrationality
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