An agentive non-intentionalist theory of self-deception

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (6):779-798 (2017)
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Abstract

The self-deception debate often appears polarized between those who think that self-deceivers intentionally deceive themselves (‘intentionalists’), and those who think that intentional actions are not significantly involved in the production of self-deceptive beliefs at all. In this paper I develop a middle position between these views, according to which self-deceivers do end up self-deceived as a result of their own intentional actions, but where the intention these actions are done with is not an intention to deceive oneself. This account thus keeps agency at the heart of self-deception, while also avoiding the paradox associated with other agency-centered views.

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Kevin Lynch
Huaqiao University

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