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Self-Deception Unmasked

Princeton University Press (2001)

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  1. On Self-Deception: From the Perspective of Zhu Xi’s Moral Psychology.Kaili Wang - 2021 - Asian Philosophy 31 (4):414-429.
    ABSTRACT In order to construct a satisfactory theory of cheng-yi 誠意, Zhu Xi 朱熹 develops an account of how self-deception is possible—a profound problem that has puzzled many philosophers. In Zhu’s opinion, zhi 知 can be divided into two categories: a priori knowing and empirical knowing. The further division of empirical knowing defines three sorts of self-deception: the self-deception caused by one’s ignorance, the self-deception caused by one’s superficial knowing, and the self-deception that may occur when one acquires genuine knowledge. (...)
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  • The Spandrels of Self-Deception: Prospects for a Biological Theory of a Mental Phenomenon.Neil Van Leeuwen - 2007 - Philosophical Psychology 20 (3):329 – 348.
    Three puzzles about self-deception make this mental phenomenon an intriguing explanatory target. The first relates to how to define it without paradox; the second is about how to make sense of self-deception in light of the interpretive view of the mental that has become widespread in philosophy; and the third concerns why it exists at all. In this paper I address the first and third puzzles. First, I define self-deception. Second, I criticize Robert Trivers' attempt to use adaptionist evolutionary psychology (...)
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  • Intuition-Driven Navigation of the Hard Problem of Consciousness.Krzysztof Sękowski & Wiktor Rorot - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-17.
    The discussion of the nature of consciousness seems to have stalled, with the “hard problem of consciousness” in its center, well-defined camps of realists and eliminativists at two opposing poles, and little to none room for agreement between. Recent attempts to move this debate forward by shifting them to a meta-level have heavily relied on the notion of “intuition”, understood in a rather liberal way. Against this backdrop, the goal of this paper is twofold. First, we want to highlight how (...)
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  • The Image of the Veil in Social Theory.Peter Baehr - 2019 - Theory and Society 48 (4):535-558.
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  • Modesty as a Virtue of Attention.Nicolas Bommarito - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (1):93-117.
    The contemporary discussion of modesty has focused on whether or not modest people are accurate about their own good qualities. This essay argues that this way of framing the debate is unhelpful and offers examples to show that neither ignorance nor accuracy about the good qualities related to oneself is necessary for modesty. It then offers an attention-based account, claiming that what is necessary for modesty is to direct one’s attention in certain ways. By analyzing modesty in this way, we (...)
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  • Modos de Autoengaño y de Razonamiento: Teorías de Proceso Dual.Salma Saab - 2011 - Análisis Filosófico 31 (2):193-218.
    En este artículo me ocupo de la cuestión de cómo en las teorías de proceso dual se puede dar cuenta del autoengaño y su conexión con la racionalidad. Presento las versiones intencionalista y no intencionalista del autoengaño y muestro cómo el debate entre ellas puede dirimirse de manera más completa y satisfactoria en el marco de una teoría dual. En éste suelen aceptarse dos sistemas de razonamiento, uno heurístico y otro analítico, que compiten por el control de nuestras inferencias y (...)
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  • Reconciling Practical Knowledge with Self-Deception.Eric Marcus - 2019 - Mind 128 (512):1205-1225.
    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 (...)
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  • Precisión, sinceridad y autoengaño.Eduardo Fermandois - 2015 - Revista de Humanidades de Valparaíso 5:31.
    El texto persigue tres objetivos generales que, a la vez, lo estructuran. En primer lugar, quiero presentar, pero también cuestionar, la descripción que de la virtud de la precisión ofrece Bernard Williams. En segundo lugar, me propongo complementar dicha descripción deteniéndome en dos dimensiones de la precisión: el cuidado y lo que llamaré “cercanía al problema”. En ese contexto, intercalo un excurso acerca de la escritura. La tercera y última parte del artículo es un intento de vincular la reflexión sobre (...)
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  • Self-Censorship.John Horton - 2011 - Res Publica 17 (1):91-106.
    This article seeks to explore the conceptual structure and moral standing of an idea that has received almost no attention from analytical philosophers: self-censorship. It is argued that at the heart of the concept is a tension between the thoughts of the self-censor as, on the one hand, the author, and on the other, the instrument, of the censorship. Which of these aspects is emphasised also importantly helps shape how self-censorship is viewed normatively. Focusing on authorship tends to lead to (...)
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  • Self-Deception: A Teleofunctional Approach.David Livingstone Smith - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (1):181-199.
    This paper aims to offer an alternative to the existing philosophical theories of self-deception. It describes and motivates a teleofunctional theory that models self-deception on the subintentional deceptions perpetrated by non-human organisms. Existing theories of self-deception generate paradoxes, are empirically implausible, or fail to account for the distinction between self-deception and other kinds of motivated irrationality. Deception is not a uniquely human phenomenon: biologists have found that many non-human organisms deceive and are deceived. A close analysis of the pollination strategy (...)
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  • Socrates' Defensible Devices in Plato's Meno.Mason Marshall - 2019 - Theory and Research in Education 17 (2):165-180.
    Despite how revered Socrates is among many educators nowadays, he can seem in the end to be a poor model for them, particularly because of how often he refutes his interlocutors and poses leading questions. As critics have noted, refuting people can turn them away from inquiry instead of drawing them in, and being too directive with them can squelch independent thought. I contend, though, that Socrates' practices are more defensible than they often look: although there are risks in refuting (...)
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  • Practical Reasons and Moral 'Ought'.Patricia Greenspan - 2007 - In Russell Schafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, vol. II. Clarendon Press. pp. 172-194.
    Morality is a source of reasons for action, what philosophers call practical reasons. Kantians say that it ‘gives’ reasons to everyone. We can even think of moral requirements as amounting to particularly strong or stringent reasons, in an effort to demystify deontological views like Kant’s, with its insistence on inescapable or ‘binding’ moral requirements or ‘oughts.’¹ When we say that someone morally ought not to harm others, perhaps all we are saying is that he has a certain kind of reason (...)
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  • Beliefs’ self-knowledge: an objection to the method of transparency.Javier Vidal - 2019 - Humanities Journal of Valparaiso 14:429-448.
    According to the method of transparency, genuine self-knowledge is the outcome of an inference from world to mind. A. Byrne has developed a theory in which the method of transparency consists in following an epistemic rule in order to form self-verifying second-order beliefs. In this paper, I argue that Byrne’s theory does not establish sufficient conditions for having self-knowledge of first-order beliefs. Examining a case of self-deception, I strive to show that following such a rule might not result in self-knowledge (...)
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  • Truth and Consequences: When Is It Rational to Accept Falsehoods?Taner Edis & Maarten Boudry - 2019 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 19 (1-2):147-169.
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  • Self-Deception and Agential Authority. Constitutivist Account.Carla Bagnoli - 2012 - Humana Mente 5 (20):93-116.
    This paper takes a constitutivist approach to self-deception, and argues that this phenomenon should be evaluated under several dimensions of rationality. The constitutivist approach has the merit of explaining the selective nature of self-deception as well as its being subject to moral sanction. Self-deception is a pragmatic strategy for maintaining the stability of the self, hence continuous with other rational activities of self-constitution. However, its success is limited, and it costs are high: it protects the agent’s self by undermining the (...)
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  • Against the Deflationary Account of Self-Deception.José Eduardo Porcher - 2012 - Humana Mente 5 (20):67-84.
    Self-deception poses serious difficulties for belief attribution because the behavior of the self-deceived is deeply conflicted: some of it supports the attribution of a certain belief, while some of it supports the contrary attribution. Theorists have resorted either to attributing both beliefs to the self-deceived, or to postulating an unconscious belief coupled with another kind of cognitive attitude. On the other hand, deflationary accounts of self- deception have attempted a more parsimonious solution: attributing only one, false belief to the subject. (...)
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  • Narrative and Self-Deception in La Symphonie Pastorale.Julie Kirsch - 2012 - Humana Mente 5 (20).
    Is it possible to develop a personal narrative that is not fictitious or self-deceptive? In this essay, I will look at the way that personal narratives contribute to self-deception. In so doing, I will consider the narrative that the narrator or pastor of André Gide’s Pastoral Symphonie develops while reflecting upon his romantic relationship with his blind adopted “daughter”, Gertrude. Although the pastor’s narrative is largely self-deceptive, we need not fear that all narratives are equally delusional. When a narrative is (...)
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  • Can You Succeed in Intentionally Deceiving Yourself?Dion Scott-Kakures Scott-Kakures - 2012 - Humana Mente 5 (20):17-40.
    According to intentionalists, self-deceivers exercise the sort of control over their belief-forming processes that, in standard cases of interpersonal deception, the deceiver exercises over the deceived’s belief forming processes — they intentionally deceive themselves. I’ll argue here that interpersonal deception is not an available model for the sort of putatively distinctive control the self-deceiver exercises over her belief-forming processes and beliefs. I concentrate attention on a kind of case in which an agent allegedly intentionally causes herself to come to have (...)
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  • Responsibility and Self-Deception: A Framework.Dana Kay Nelkin - 2012 - Humana Mente 5 (20).
    This paper focuses on the question of whether and, if so, when people can be responsible for their self-deception and its consequences. On Intentionalist accounts, self-deceivers intentionally deceive themselves, and it is easy to see how they can be responsible. On Motivationist accounts, in contrast, self-deception is a motivated, but not intentional, and possibly unconscious process, making it more difficult to see how self-deceivers could be responsible. I argue that a particular Motivationist account, the Desire to Believe account, together with (...)
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  • The Product of Self-Deception.Neil Van Leeuwen - 2007 - Erkenntnis 67 (3):419 - 437.
    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 (...)
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  • Confabulation and Rational Obligations for Self-Knowledge.Sophie Keeling - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 31 (8):1215-1238.
    ABSTRACTThis paper argues that confabulation is motivated by the desire to have fulfilled a rational obligation to knowledgeably explain our attitudes by reference to motivating reasons. This account better explains confabulation than alternatives. My conclusion impacts two discussions. Primarily, it tells us something about confabulation – how it is brought about, which engenders lively debate in and of itself. A further upshot concerns self-knowledge. Contrary to popular assumption, confabulation cases give us reason to think we have distinctive access to why (...)
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  • What’s So Great About Reality?Julie Kirsch - 2005 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 35 (3):407-427.
    Life is so wretched that it would be impossible to endure were it not for the luminous beams of illusion that guide us through its darkest moments. Many argue, perhaps not to this degree, that were it not for some modest illusions about the world and ourselves we would experience a serious decline in quality of life. On those not-so-good days, this claim strikes me as irresistible. How would I endure life and maintain my sanity if I had to embrace (...)
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  • Self‐Deception and the Life of Faith.N. Verbin - 2014 - Heythrop Journal 55 (5):845-859.
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  • Sisäisyys Ja Suunnistautuminen. Inwardness and Orientation. A Festchrift to Jussi Kotkavirta.Arto Laitinen, Jussi Saarinen, Heikki Ikäheimo, Pessi Lyyra & Petteri Niemi (eds.) - 2014 - SoPhi.
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  • Nietzsche and Amor Fati.Béatrice Han-Pile - 2009 - European Journal of Philosophy 19 (2):224-261.
    Abstract: This paper identifies two central paradoxes threatening the notion of amor fati [love of fate]: it requires us to love a potentially repellent object (as fate entails significant negativity for us) and this, in the knowledge that our love will not modify our fate. Thus such love may seem impossible or pointless. I analyse the distinction between two different sorts of love (eros and agape) and the type of valuation they involve (in the first case, the object is loved (...)
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  • Trasformazione e germinazione: per una nuova filosofia della nascita.Guido Cusinato - 2017 - Thaumàzein 4.
    The thesis of this paper is that – in order to avoid trivializations – a Philosophy of Birth needs to elaborate a precise concept of transformation and distinguish it carefully from that of adaptation. While transformation goes beyond the limited self-referential perspective of an individual and, on the social level, of the gregarious identity, adaptation aims at strengthening or preserving the old self-referential equilibrium. Transformation is driven by what Zambrano has called, with an exceptionally happy expression, the “hunger to be (...)
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  • Finite Rational Self-Deceivers.Neil Van Leeuwen - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 139 (2):191 - 208.
    I raise three puzzles concerning self-deception: (i) a conceptual paradox, (ii) a dilemma about how to understand human cognitive evolution, and (iii) a tension between the fact of self-deception and Davidson’s interpretive view. I advance solutions to the first two and lay a groundwork for addressing the third. The capacity for self-deception, I argue, is a spandrel, in Gould’s and Lewontin’s sense, of other mental traits, i.e., a structural byproduct. The irony is that the mental traits of which self-deception is (...)
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  • Collaborative Irrationality, Akrasia, and Groupthink: Social Disruptions of Emotion Regulation.Thomas Szanto - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7:1-17.
    The present paper proposes an integrative account of social forms of practical irrationality and corresponding disruptions of individual and group-level emotion regulation. I will especially focus on disruptions in emotion regulation by means of collaborative agential and doxastic akrasia. I begin by distinguishing mutual, communal and collaborative forms of akrasia. Such a taxonomy seems all the more needed as, rather surprisingly, in the face of huge philosophical interest in analysing the possibility, structure and mechanisms of individual practical irrationality, with very (...)
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  • Defending Simulation Theory Against the Argument From Error.Timothy L. Short & Kevin J. Riggs - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (2):248-262.
    We defend the Simulation Theory of Mind against a challenge from the Theory Theory of Mind. The challenge is that while Simulation Theory can account for Theory of Mind errors, it cannot account for their systematic nature. There are Theory of Mind errors seen in social psychological research with adults where persons are either overly generous or overly cynical in how rational they expect others to be. There are also Theory of Mind errors observable in developmental data drawn from Maxi-type (...)
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  • Axiology, Self-Deception, and Moral Wrongdoing in Blaise Pascal's Pensées.William D. Wood - 2009 - Journal of Religious Ethics 37 (2):355-384.
    Blaise Pascal is highly regarded as a religious moralist, but he has rarely been given his due as an ethical theorist. The goal of this article is to assemble Pascal's scattered thoughts on moral judgment and moral wrongdoing into an explicit, coherent account that can serve as the basis for further scholarly reflection on his ethics. On my reading, Pascal affirms an axiological, social-intuitionist account of moral judgment and moral wrongdoing. He argues that a moral judgment is an immediate, intuitive (...)
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  • Knowledge with and Without Belief.Michael Veber - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (1):120-132.
    This article argues for the thesis that the distinction between propositional and doxastic justification should be extended to knowledge. A consequence of this thesis is that there is a type of knowledge that requires belief and a type that does not. A familiar example strikingly similar to the sort of example used to introduce the propositional/doxastic justification makes a prima facie case. Additional theoretical advantages are revealed when the distinction is applied within the context of some recent epistemological debates. These (...)
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  • Self-Deception in Terminal Patients: Belief System at Stake.Luis E. Echarte, Javier Bernacer, Denis Larrivee, J. V. Oron & Miguel Grijalba-Uche - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
  • Have We Vindicated the Motivational Unconscious Yet? A Conceptual Review.Alexandre Billon - 2011 - Frontiers in Psychoanalysis and Neuropsychoanalysis 2.
    Motivationally unconscious (M-unconscious) states are unconscious states that can directly motivate a subject’s behavior and whose unconscious character typically results from a form of repression. The basic argument for M-unconscious states claims that they provide the best explanation to some seemingly non rational behaviors, like akrasia, impulsivity or apparent self-deception. This basic argument has been challenged on theoretical, empirical and conceptual grounds. Drawing on recent works on apparent self-deception and on the ‘cognitive unconscious’ I assess those objections. I argue that (...)
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  • The Irrational Project: Toward a Different Understanding of Self-Deception.Amber Leigh Griffioen - 2010 - Iowa Research Online.
    This dissertation focuses on questions regarding the metaphysical and psychological possibility of self-deception and attempts to show that self-deception is a phenomenon best characterized as both motivated and intentional, such that self-deceivers can be held responsible for their deceptions in a stronger sense than that of being merely epistemically negligent. -/- In Chapter One, I introduce the paradoxes of self-deception, which arise when one attempts to draw a close analogy between self- and other-deception, and I discuss the various ways in (...)
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  • Racial Cognition and the Ethics of Implicit Bias.Daniel Kelly & Erica Roedder - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (3):522–540.
    We first describe recent empirical research on racial cognition, particularly work on implicit racial biases that suggests they are widespread, that they can coexist with explicitly avowed anti-racist and tolerant attitudes, and that they influence behavior in a variety of subtle but troubling ways. We then consider a cluster of questions that the existence and character of implicit racial biases raise for moral theory. First, is it morally condemnable to harbor an implicit racial bias? Second, ought each of us to (...)
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  • Depth Psychology and Self-Deception.Robert Lockie - 2003 - Philosophical Psychology 16 (1):127-148.
    This paper argues that self-deception cannot be explained without employing a depth-psychological ("psychodynamic") notion of the unconscious, and therefore that mainstream academic psychology must make space for such approaches. The paper begins by explicating the notion of a dynamic unconscious. Then a brief account is given of the "paradoxes" of self-deception. It is shown that a depth-psychological self of parts and subceptive agency removes any such paradoxes. Next, several competing accounts of self-deception are considered: an attentional account, a constructivist account, (...)
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  • Can Anosognosia Vindicate Traditionalism About Self-Deception?José Eduardo Porcher - 2015 - Epistemology and Philosophy of Science 44 (2):206-217.
    The traditional conception of self-deception takes it for an intrapersonal form of interpersonal deception. However, since the same subject is at the same time deceiver and deceived, this means attributing the agent a pair of contradictory beliefs. In the course of defending a deflationary conception of self-deception, Mele [1997] has challenged traditionalists to present convincing evidence that there are cases of self-deception in which what he calls the dual belief-requirement is satisfied. Levy [2009] has responded to this challenge affirming that (...)
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  • The Role of Pretense in the Process of Self-Deception.Xintong Wei - 2020 - Philosophical Explorations 23 (1):1-14.
    Gendler [2007. “Self-deception as Pretense.” Philosophical Perspectives 21 : 231–258] offers an account of self-deception in terms of imaginative pretense, according to which the self-deceptive...
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  • The Slow Decay and Quick Revival of Self-Deception.Zoë Chance, Francesca Gino, Michael I. Norton & Dan Ariely - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
  • Testimonial Injustice and Prescriptive Credibility Deficits.Wade Munroe - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (6):924-947.
    In light of recent social psychological literature, I expand Miranda Fricker’s important notion of testimonial injustice. A fair portion of Fricker’s account rests on an older paradigm of stereotype and prejudice. Given recent empirical work, I argue for what I dub prescriptive credibility deficits in which a backlash effect leads to the assignment of a diminished level of credibility to persons who act in counter-stereotypic manners, thereby flouting prescriptive stereotypes. The notion of a prescriptive credibility deficit is not merely an (...)
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  • Self-Deception.Eric Funkhouser - 2019 - Routledge.
    Self-deception poses longstanding and fascinating paradoxes. Philosophers have questioned whether, and how, self-deception is even possible; evolutionary theorists have debated whether it is adaptive. For Sigmund Freud self-deception was a fundamental key to understanding the unconscious, and from The Bible to The Great Gatsby literature abounds with characters renowned for their self-deception. But what exactly is self-deception? Why is it so puzzling? How is it performed? And is it harmful? ...
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  • The Therapeutic Value of Intellectual Virtue.Mark Young - 2012 - Humana Mente 5 (20).
    The focus of this article is to offer an account of how the development of one’s intellectual character has therapeutic value in the attempt to overcome self-deception. Even stronger, the development of intellectual character has necessary therapeutic value in regard to self-deception. This account proceeds by first consulting the predominant psychological theory of virtuous character offered by contemporary virtue ethicists and virtue epistemologists. A motivational/dispositional account of self-deception is then offered and connected to the former account of intellectual character. By (...)
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  • On the Function of Self-Deception.Vladimir Krstić - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (4):846-863.
    Self-deception makes best sense as a self-defensive mechanism by which the self protects itself from painful reality. Hence, we typically imagine self-deceivers as people who cause themselves to believe as true what they want to be true. Some self-deceivers, however, end up believing what they do not want to be true. Their behaviour can be explained on the hypothesis that the function of this behaviour is protecting the agent's perceived focal benefit at the cost of inflicting short-term harm, which is (...)
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  • Autoengaño y voluntarismo doxástico.Gustavo Fernández Acevedo - 2018 - Estudios de Filosofía (Universidad de Antioquia) 57:139-160.
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  • Denial in Addiction.Hanna Pickard - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (3):277-299.
    I argue that denial plays a central but insufficiently recognized role in addiction. The puzzle inherent in addiction is why drug use persists despite negative consequences. The orthodox conception of addiction resolves this puzzle by appeal to compulsion; but there is increasing evidence that addicts are not compelled to use but retain choice and control over their consumption in many circumstances. Denial offers an alternative explanation: there is no puzzle as to why drug use persists despite negative consequences if these (...)
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  • Can We Be Self-Deceived About What We Believe? Self-Knowledge, Self-Deception, and Rational Agency.Mathieu Doucet - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy 20 (S1):E1-E25.
    Abstract: This paper considers the question of whether it is possible to be mistaken about the content of our first-order intentional states. For proponents of the rational agency model of self-knowledge, such failures might seem very difficult to explain. On this model, the authority of self-knowledge is not based on inference from evidence, but rather originates in our capacity, as rational agents, to shape our beliefs and other intentional states. To believe that one believes that p, on this view, constitutes (...)
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  • Emotional Self‐Alienation.Thomas Szanto - 2017 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 41 (1):260-286.
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  • The Puzzle of Self‐Deception.Maria Baghramian & Anna Nicholson - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (11):1018-1029.
    It is commonly accepted that people can, and regularly do, deceive themselves. Yet closer examination reveals a set of conceptual puzzles that make self-deception difficult to explain. Applying the conditions for other-deception to self-deception generates what are known as the ‘paradoxes’ of belief and intention. Simply put, the central problem is how it is possible for me to believe one thing, and yet intentionally cause myself to simultaneously believe its contradiction. There are two general approaches taken by philosophers to account (...)
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  • Nondoxasticism About Self‐Deception.Sophie Archer - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (3):265-282.
    The philosophical difficulties presented by self-deception are vexed and multifaceted. One such difficulty is what I call the ‘doxastic problem’ of self-deception. Solving the doxastic problem involves determining whether someone in a state of self-deception that ∼p both believes that p and believes that ∼p, simply holds one or the other belief, or, as I will argue, holds neither. This final option, which has been almost entirely overlooked to-date, is what I call ‘ nondoxasticism ’ about self-deception. In this article, (...)
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  • To Believe is to Know That You Believe.Eric Marcus - 2016 - Dialectica 70 (3):375-405.
    Most agree that believing a proposition normally or ideally results in believing that one believes it, at least if one considers the question of whether one believes it. I defend a much stronger thesis. It is impossible to believe without knowledge of one's belief. I argue, roughly, as follows. Believing that p entails that one is able to honestly assert that p. But anyone who is able to honestly assert that p is also able to just say – i.e., authoritatively, (...)
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