Philosophical Studies 173 (2):505-523 (2016)

Authors
Kevin Lynch
Huaqiao University
Abstract
Willful ignorance is an important concept in criminal law and jurisprudence, though it has not received much discussion in philosophy. When it is mentioned, however, it is regularly assumed to be a kind of self-deception. In this article I will argue that self-deception and willful ignorance are distinct psychological kinds. First, some examples of willful ignorance are presented and discussed, and an analysis of the phenomenon is developed. Then it is shown that current theories of self-deception give no support to the idea that willful ignorance is a kind of self-deception. Afterwards an independent argument is adduced for excluding willful ignorance from this category. The crucial differences between the two phenomena are explored, as are the reasons why they are so easily conflated
Keywords Willful ignorance  Willful blindness  Self-deception  Deception  Culpable ignorance  Ignorance
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-015-0504-3
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References found in this work BETA

Culpable Ignorance.Holly Smith - 1983 - Philosophical Review 92 (4):543-571.
The Intent to Deceive.Roderick M. Chisholm & Thomas D. Feehan - 1977 - Journal of Philosophy 74 (3):143-159.
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.
Do the Self-Deceived Get What They Want?Eric Funkhouser - 2005 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86 (3):295-312.

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Willful Ignorance.Jan Wieland - 2017 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (1):105-119.
An Agentive Non-Intentionalist Theory of Self-Deception.Kevin Lynch - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (6):779-798.
Willful Ignorance as Formative Epistemic Injustice.A. C. Nikolaidis - forthcoming - Philosophy of Education:83-97.

View all 15 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Willfully Blind for Good Reason.Deborah Hellman - 2009 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 3 (3):301-316.
Ignorance, Self-Deception and Moral Accountability.Elizabeth A. Linehan - 1982 - Journal of Value Inquiry 16 (2):101-115.
Self-Deceived About Self-Deception: An Evolutionary Analysis.Mario Heilmann - 1997 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (1):116-117.
Tracing Culpable Ignorance.Rik Peels - 2011 - Logos and Episteme 2 (4):575-582.
What Kind of Ignorance Excuses? Two Neglected Issues.Rik Peels - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (256):478-496.
Ignorance: How It Drives Science.Stuart Firestein - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
What is the Role of the Self in Self-Deception?Richard Holton - 2001 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 101 (1):53-69.

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