Self-deception: A Reflexive Dilemma

Philosophy 52 (201):281-299 (1977)
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Abstract

It is not easy to see how self-deception is possible because the man who deceives himself seems to be required to play two incompatible roles, that of deceiver and that of deceived. This makes self-deception sound about as difficult as presiding at one's own funeral. Many attempts have been made to remove the air of paradox from self-deception. These attempts are all unsuccessful, and they are best seen as expressions of philosophical puzzlement rather than as actual solutions. In particular, the whole of the literature on self-deception is vitiated by two serious confusions. First, deception is confused with deceit; secondly, it is wrongly assumed that every case of deceiving oneself is automatically a case of self-deception and so self-deception proper becomes confused with other things.

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Citations of this work

On the “tension” inherent in self-deception.Kevin Lynch - 2012 - Philosophical Psychology 25 (3):433-450.
Self-deception: A paradox revisited.Albert Bandura - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (1):16-17.
On knowing self-deception.Maury Silver, John Sabini & Maria Miceli - 1989 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 19 (2):213–227.
Useful lies: The twisted rationality of denial.Jörg Friedrichs - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (2):212-234.

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