The Puzzle of Self-Deception

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Title: The Puzzle of Self-Deception
Authors: Baghramian, Maria
Nicholson, Anna
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Date: Nov-2013
Abstract: 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 believe its contradiction. There are two general approaches taken by philosophers to account for these puzzles about the self-deceptive state and the process of self-deception. 'Partitioning' strategies try to resolve the paradoxes by proposing that the mind is divided in some way that allows self-deception to occur. 'Reformulation' strategies suggest that the conditions we use to define self-deception should be modified so that the paradoxes do not arise at all. Both approaches are subject to criticism about the consequences of the strategies philosophers use, but recent cross-disciplinary analyses of self-deception may help shed light on the puzzles that underlie this phenomenon.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright (published version): 2013 Wiley
Keywords: EpistemologyCompass sectionsPhilosophy of mindMind and cognitive scienceUnconscious
DOI: 10.1111/phc3.12083
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Philosophy Research Collection

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