ABSTRACT This paper offers an account of intending to self-deceive which opposes that provided by standard intentionalist accounts of self-deception. According to my account, self-deception is attained instantaneously: to intend to self-deceive that P is thereby to self-deceive that P. Relating this to the concepts of evidence, belief and self-awareness, I develop an account of self-deception which holds that self-deceivers misrepresent themselves as believing what they profess to believe. I argue that my account yields solutions to the central problems of (...) self-deception – the static problem and the dynamic problem – while remaining faithful to the phenomena of self-deception. (shrink)
It is widely assumed that a literal understanding of someone’s self-deception that p yields the following contradiction. Qua self-deceiver, she does not believe that p, yet – qua self-deceived – she does believe that p. I argue that this assumption is ill-founded. Literalism about self-deception – the view that self-deceivers literally self-deceive – is not committed to this contradiction. On the contrary, properly understood, literalism excludes it.
I defend a Husserlian account of self-consciousness against representationalist accounts: higher-order representationalism and self-representationalism. Of these, self-representationalism is the harder to refute since, unlike higher-order representationalism, it does not incur a regress of self-conscious acts. However, it incurs a regress of intentional contents. I consider, and reject, five strategies for avoiding this regress of contents. I conclude that the regress is inherent to self-representationalism. I close by showing how this incoherence obtrudes in what must be the self-representationalist’s account of the (...) phenomenology of experience. (shrink)
According to doxastic accounts of self-deception, self-deception that P yields belief that P. For doxastic accounts, the self-deceiver really believes what he, in self-deception, professes to believe. I argue that doxastic accounts are contradicted by a phenomenon that often accompanies self-deception. This phenomenon – which I term ‘secondary deception’ – consists in the self-deceiver's defending his professed (deceit-induced) belief to an audience by lying to that audience. I proceed to sketch an alternative, non-doxastic account of how we should understand self-deception (...) in terms of the self-deceiver's misrepresentation of himself as believing that P. (shrink)