Self-deception about emotion

Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (3):254-270 (2011)
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Abstract

In this paper, I address an ignored topic in the literature on self-deception—instances in which one is self-deceived about their emotions. Most discussions of emotion and self-deception address either the contributory role of emotion to instances of self-deception involving beliefs or assume what I argue is an outdated view of emotion according to which emotions just are beliefs or some other type of propositional attitude. In order to construct an account of self-deception about emotion, I draw a distinction between two variants of self-deception about emotion: cognitively motivated self-deception and phenomenologically motivated self-deception. After providing an account of each variant, I discuss the importance of the role that perception plays in cases of self-deception about emotion. I conclude with a comment on the relevance of this discussion for contemporary debates in moral theory

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