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  1. 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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  • The Evolution of Misbelief.Ryan T. McKay & Daniel C. Dennett - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (6):493.
    From an evolutionary standpoint, a default presumption is that true beliefs are adaptive and misbeliefs maladaptive. But if humans are biologically engineered to appraise the world accurately and to form true beliefs, how are we to explain the routine exceptions to this rule? How can we account for mistaken beliefs, bizarre delusions, and instances of self-deception? We explore this question in some detail. We begin by articulating a distinction between two general types of misbelief: those resulting from a breakdown in (...)
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  • San Marco and Evolutionary Biology.Alasdair I. Houston - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (2):215-230.
    Gould and Lewontin use San Marco, Venice, to criticise the adaptationist program in biology. Following their lead, the architectural term “spandrel” is now widely used in biology to denote a feature that is a necessary byproduct of other aspects of the organism. I review the debate over San Marco and argue that the spandrels are not necessary in the sense originally used by Gould and Lewontin. I conclude that almost all the claims that Gould makes about San Marco are wrong (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Making Sense of Self-Deception: Distinguishing Self-Deception From Delusion, Moral Licensing, Cognitive Dissonance and Other Self-Distortions.Elias L. Khalil - 2017 - Philosophy 92 (4):539-563.
    There has been no systematic study in the literature of how self-deception differs from other kinds of self-distortion. For example, the term ‘cognitive dissonance’ has been used in some cases as a rag-bag term for all kinds of self-distortion. To address this, a narrow definition is given: self-deception involves injecting a given set of facts with an erroneous fact to make anex antesuboptimal decision seem as if it wereex anteoptimal. Given this narrow definition, this paper delineates self-deception from deception as (...)
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  • Religious Credence is Not Factual Belief.Neil Van Leeuwen - 2014 - Cognition 133 (3):698-715.
    I argue that psychology and epistemology should posit distinct cognitive attitudes of religious credence and factual belief, which have different etiologies and different cognitive and behavioral effects. I support this claim by presenting a range of empirical evidence that religious cognitive attitudes tend to lack properties characteristic of factual belief, just as attitudes like hypothesis, fictional imagining, and assumption for the sake of argument generally lack such properties. Furthermore, religious credences have distinctive properties of their own. To summarize: factual beliefs (...)
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  • Implicit Bias, Confabulation, and Epistemic Innocence.Ema Sullivan-Bissett - 2014 - Consciousness and Cognition 33:548-560.
    In this paper I explore the nature of confabulatory explanations of action guided by implicit bias. I claim that such explanations can have significant epistemic benefits in spite of their obvious epistemic costs, and that such benefits are not otherwise obtainable by the subject at the time at which the explanation is offered. I start by outlining the kinds of cases I have in mind, before characterising the phenomenon of confabulation by focusing on a few common features. Then I introduce (...)
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  • Autoengaño Y Evidencia.Gustavo Fernández Acevedo - 2018 - Manuscrito 41 (3):125-161.
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  • Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc: Some Benefits of Rationalization.Jesse S. Summers - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (sup1):21-36.
    Research suggests that the explicit reasoning we offer to ourselves and to others is often rationalization, that we act instead on instincts, inclinations, stereotypes, emotions, neurobiology, habits, reactions, evolutionary pressures, unexamined principles, or justifications other than the ones we think we’re acting on, then we tell a post hoc story to justify our actions. I consider two benefits of rationalization, once we realize that rationalization is sincere. It allows us to work out, under practical pressure of rational consistency, which are (...)
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  • Biological Function and Epistemic Normativity.Ema Sullivan-Bissett - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (1):94-110.
    I give a biological account of epistemic normativity. My account explains the sense in which it is true that belief is subject to a standard of correctness, and reduces epistemic norms to there being doxastic strategies which guide how best to meet that standard. Additionally, I give an explanation of the mistakes we make in our epistemic discourse, understood as either taking epistemic properties and norms to be sui generis and irreducible, and/or as failing to recognize the reductive base of (...)
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  • Self-Deceive to Countermine Detection.Hui Jing Lu & Lei Chang - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (1):33-33.
    Having evolved to escape detection of deception completely, self-deception must respond to social conditions registering different probabilities of detection. To be adaptive, it must have a mechanism to keep truthful information temporarily from the self during deception and retrieve it after deception. The memory system may serve this mechanism and provides a paradigm in which to conduct research on self-deception.
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  • The Effect of Negative Feedback on Positive Beliefs in Self-Deception.Juan Liu, Wenjie Zhang, Youlong Zhan, Lixin Song, Peipei Guan, Dan Kang, Jie Jian, Ronghua Cai & Mei Li - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
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  • Is Self-Deception an Effective Non-Cooperative Strategy?Eric Funkhouser - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (2):221-242.
    Robert Trivers has proposed perhaps the only serious adaptationist account of self-deception—that the primary function of self-deception is to better deceive others. But this account covers only a subset of cases and needs further refinement. A better evolutionary account of self-deception and cognitive biases more generally will more rigorously recognize the various ways in which false beliefs affect both the self and others. This article offers formulas for determining the optimal doxastic orientation, giving special consideration to conflicted self-deception as an (...)
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  • Self-Deception’s Adaptive Value: Effects of Positive Thinking and the Winner Effect.Jason Kido Lopez & Matthew J. Fuxjager - 2012 - Consciousness and Cognition 21 (1):315-324.
    There is a puzzle about why self-deception, a process that obscures the truth, is so pervasive in human behavior given that tracking the truth seems important for our survival and reproduction. William von Hippel and Robert Trivers argue that, despite appearances, there is good reason to think that self-deception is an adaptation by arguing: self-deception leads to a positive self-perception and a positive self-perception increases an individual’s fitness. D.S. Neil Van Leeuwen, however, gives persuasive arguments against both steps. In response, (...)
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