What does emotion teach us about self-deception? Affective neuroscience in support of non-intentionalism

Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 13 (2):70-94 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Intuitively, affect plays an indispensable role in self-deception’s dynamic. Call this view “affectivism.” Investigating affectivism matters, as affectivists argue that this conception favours the non-intentionalist approach to self-deception and offers a unified account of straight and twisted self-deception. However, this line of argument has not been scrutinized in detail, and there are reasons to doubt it. Does affectivism fulfill its promises of non-intentionalism and unity? We argue that it does, as long as affect’s role in self-deception lies in affective filters—that is, in evaluation of information in light of one’s concerns. We develop this conception by taking into consideration the underlying mechanisms governing self-deception, particularly the neurobiological mechanisms of somatic markers and dopamine regulation. Shifting the discussion to this level can fulfill the affectivist aspirations, as this approach clearly favours non-intentionalism and offers a unified account of self-deception. We support this claim by criticizing the main alternative affectivist account—namely, the views that self-deception functions to reduce anxiety or is motivated by anxiety. Describing self-deception’s dynamic does not require intention; affect is sufficient if we use the insights of neuroscience and the psychology of affective bias to examine this issue. In this way, affectivism can fulfill its promises.

Similar books and articles

Self-deception about emotion.Lisa Damm - 2011 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (3):254-270.
Self-Deception, Rationality, and the Self.Thomas Sturm - 2007 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 26 (3):73-95.
Understanding and explaining real self-deception.Alfred R. Mele - 1997 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (1):127-134.
Self-deception and Selectivity: Reply to Jurjako.José Luis Bermúdez - 2017 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 17 (1):91-95.
Twisted Self Deception.Alfred R. Mele - 1999 - Philosophical Psychology 12 (2):117-137.
Self-deception and self-knowledge.Jordi Fernández - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):379-400.
Self-deception vs. self-caused deception: A comment on professor Mele.Robert Audi - 1997 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (1):104-104.
Sich in die eigene Tasche lügen? Selbsttäuschung als irrationales Projekt.Amber Griffioen - 2017 - PHILOKLES: Zeitschrift Für Populäre Philosophie 21:4-23.
Is self-deception an effective non-cooperative strategy?Eric Funkhouser - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (2):221-242.


Added to PP

371 (#54,476)

6 months
101 (#43,425)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Federico Lauria
University of Lisbon

Citations of this work

Self-deception.Ian Deweese-Boyd - 2023 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Self-Deception Unmasked.Alfred R. Mele - 2001 - Princeton University Press.
Real Self-Deception.Alfred R. Mele - 1997 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (1):91-102.
Self-deception and shifts of attention.Kevin Lynch - 2014 - Philosophical Explorations 17 (1):63-75.
Self-deception and the selectivity problem.Marko Jurjako - 2013 - Balkan Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):151-162.

View all 7 references / Add more references