Willful ignorance and self-deception

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

Real Self-Deception.Alfred R. Mele - 1997 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (1):91-102.
Culpable Ignorance.Holly Smith - 1983 - Philosophical Review 92 (4):543-571.
Do the Self-Deceived Get What They Want?Eric Funkhouser - 2005 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86 (3):295-312.
On the “Tension” Inherent in Self-Deception.Kevin Lynch - 2012 - Philosophical Psychology 25 (3):433-450.

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

An Agentive Non-Intentionalist Theory of Self-Deception.Kevin Lynch - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (6):779-798.
Willful Ignorance.Jan Willem Wieland - 2017 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (1):105-119.
Self-Deception and Shifting Degrees of Belief.Chi Yin Chan & Darrell P. Rowbottom - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (8):1204-1220.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

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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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