(New Problems of Philosophy)
276 p. 24 cm
Self-deception poses long-standing and fascinating paradoxes. What exactly is it? Why is it so puzzling? What causes it? In this thorough and clearly-written introduction to the philosophy and psychology of self-deception Eric Funkhouser examines and assesses these questions and more.
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? In this thorough and clearly written introduction to the philosophy and psychology of self-deception, Eric Funkhouser examines and assesses these questions and more: Clarification of the conceptual background and "Basic problem" of self-deception, including Freud and Davidson and the important debate between intentionalists and motivationalists Deflationary accounts that appeal to cognitive and motivational biases, with emphasis on how motives and emotions drive self-deception Intentional self-deception and the "divided mind," including the role of the unconscious in recent psychological research Challenges that self-deception poses for philosophy of mind and psychology, especially for our understanding of intention, belief, and deception Biology and moral psychology of self-deception: Is self-deception functional or beneficial? Are the self-deceived to be held accountable? Combining philosophical analysis with the latest psychological research, and including features such as chapter summaries, annotated recommended reading and a glossary, Self-Deception is an excellent resource for students of philosophy of mind and psychology, moral psychology and ethics, as well as those in related fields such as psychology and cognitive science.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. The Basic Problem and a Conceptual Map 3. Deflationary Accounts 4. Intentionalism and Divided Mind Accounts 5. Revisionary Accounts: Belief and Purpose 6. Responsibility for Self-Deception 7. Functions and Cost-Benefit Analysis 8. Conclusion. Glossary of Terms Bibliography Index