Reconciling Practical Knowledge with Self-Deception

Mind 128 (512):1205-1225 (2019)
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Abstract

Is it impossible for a person to do something intentionally without knowing that she is doing it? The phenomenon of self-deceived agency might seem to show otherwise. Here the agent is not lying, yet disavows a correct description of her intentional action. This disavowal might seem expressive of ignorance. However, I show that the self-deceived agent does know what she's doing. I argue that we should understand the factors that explain self-deception as masking rather than negating the practical knowledge characteristic of intentional action. This masking takes roughly the following form: when we are deceiving ourselves about what we are intentionally doing, we don't think about our action because it's painful to do so.

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Eric Marcus
Auburn University

Citations of this work

Aesthetic knowledge.Keren Gorodeisky & Eric Marcus - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (8):2507-2535.
Inference as Consciousness of Necessity.Eric Marcus - 2020 - Analytic Philosophy 61 (4):304-322.
Knowing what you Want.Eric Marcus - forthcoming - In Lucy Campbell (ed.), Forms of Knowledge. Oxford.

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References found in this work

Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 57:321-332.
Self-Deception Unmasked.Alfred R. Mele - 2001 - Princeton University Press.
Rational causation.Eric Marcus - 2012 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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