On the “tension” inherent in self-deception

Philosophical Psychology 25 (3):433-450 (2012)
Abstract
Alfred Mele's deflationary account of self-deception has frequently been criticised for being unable to explain the ?tension? inherent in self-deception. These critics maintain that rival theories can better account for this tension, such as theories which suppose self-deceivers to have contradictory beliefs. However, there are two ways in which the tension idea has been understood. In this article, it is argued that on one such understanding, Mele's deflationism can account for this tension better than its rivals, but only if we reconceptualize the self-deceiver's attitude in terms of unwarranted degrees of conviction rather than unwarranted belief. This new way of viewing the self-deceiver's attitude will be informed by observations on experimental work done on the biasing influence of desire on belief, which suggests that self-deceivers don?t manage to fully convince themselves of what they want to be true. On another way in which this tension has been understood, this account would not manage so well, since on this understanding the self-deceiver is best interpreted as knowing, but wishing to avoid, the truth. However, it is argued that we are under no obligation to account for this since it is a characteristic of a different phenomenon than self-deception, namely, escapism
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DOI 10.1080/09515089.2011.622364
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References found in this work BETA
Self-Deception Unmasked.Alfred R. Mele - 2001 - Princeton University Press.
Beliefs, Degrees of Belief, and the Lockean Thesis.Richard Foley - 2009 - In Franz Huber & Christoph Schmidt-Petri (eds.), Degrees of Belief. Springer. pp. 37-47.
Do the Self-Deceived Get What They Want?Eric Funkhouser - 2005 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86 (3):295-312.
Real Self-Deception.Alfred R. Mele - 1997 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (1):91-102.
An Analysis of Self-Deception.Kent Bach - 1981 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 41 (March):351-370.

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Citations of this work BETA
Willful Ignorance and Self-Deception.Kevin Lynch - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (2):505-523.
An Agentive Non-Intentionalist Theory of Self-Deception.Kevin Lynch - forthcoming - Canadian Journal of Philosophy:1-20.
Self-Deception and Stubborn Belief.Kevin Lynch - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (6):1337-1345.
Self-Deception.Ian Deweese-Boyd - 2006 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

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