The product of self-deception

Erkenntnis 67 (3):419 - 437 (2007)
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Abstract

I raise the question of what cognitive attitude self-deception brings about. That is: what is the product of self-deception? Robert Audi and Georges Rey have argued that self-deception does not bring about belief in the usual sense, but rather “avowal” or “avowed belief.” That means a tendency to affirm verbally (both privately and publicly) that lacks normal belief-like connections to non-verbal actions. I contest their view by discussing cases in which the product of self-deception is implicated in action in a way that exemplifies the motivational role of belief. Furthermore, by applying independent criteria of what it is for a mental state to be a belief, I defend the more intuitive view that being self-deceived that p entails believing that p. Beliefs (i) are the default for action relative to other cognitive attitudes (such as imagining and hypothesis) and (ii) have cognitive governance over the other cognitive attitudes. I explicate these two relations and argue that they obtain for the product of self-deception.

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Neil Van Leeuwen
Georgia State University

Citations of this work

Self-Deception.Ian Deweese-Boyd - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
On the Function of Self‐Deception.Vladimir Krstić - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (4):846-863.
Denial in Addiction.Hanna Pickard - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (3):277-299.
Self-Deception as Pseudo-Rational Regulation of Belief.Christoph Michel & Albert Newen - 2010 - Consciousness and Cognition 19 (3):731-744.

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References found in this work

Reference and Reflexivity.John Perry - 2001 - Center for the Study of Language and Inf.
Self-Deception Unmasked.Alfred R. Mele - 2001 - Princeton University Press.
Reference and Reflexivity.John Perry - 2009 - Critica 41 (123):147-162.
Paradoxes of Irrationality.Donald Davidson - 1982 - In Problems of Rationality. Oxford University Press. pp. 169–187.

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