- The motivated misapprehension of the facts of the case. This may include actively believing what is not true, and refusing to acknowledge a truth, in circumstances where without the motivation the truth would be obvious. The philosophical problem, sometimes called the paradox of self-deception, is that normal deception requires one agent who knows the truth, and who conceals it from another agent. So within a single agent the state appears to be impossible, since the agent must know the truth to begin a process of deceiving him or herself about it. One solution is to postulate one part of the mind that knows the truth, and that sets about deceiving another part of the mind that does not. However, it is not clear that it is useful to employ the spatial analogy of minds with parts, nor to suppose that the ‘sub-systems’ responsible for the state are usefully thought of as themselves independent ‘agents’ that not only know things but have plans and projects and can set about doing things. There is nothing problematic about desires influencing beliefs, and some people are better than others at believing what they wish to be true. The problem only arises if achieving this state is thought of as a plan that the agent follows. But even then the project of coming to believe what one knows to be false is coherent, provided that process is spread over time, and the means adopted involve losing the knowledge during the process. See also Pascal's wager.
Philosophy dictionary. Academic. 2011.
Look at other dictionaries:
Self-deception — is a process of denying or rationalizing away the relevance, significance, or importance of opposing evidence and logical argument. Theorization It has been theorized that humans are susceptible to self deception because most people have… … Wikipedia
self-deception — [self′di sep′shən] n. the deceiving of oneself as to one s true feelings, motives, circumstances, etc.: also self deceit self deceiving adj … English World dictionary
Self-deception — Self de*cep tion, n. Self deceit. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
self-deception — ► NOUN ▪ the action or practice of deceiving oneself into believing that a false or unfounded feeling, idea, or situation is true … English terms dictionary
self-deception — N UNCOUNT Self deception involves allowing yourself to believe something about yourself that is not true, because the truth is more unpleasant. Human beings have an infinite capacity for self deception. Syn: self delusion … English dictionary
self-deception — noun (U) the act of making yourself believe something is true when it is not: He was unwilling to admit that the visionary idea was sheer self deception. self deceptive adjective … Longman dictionary of contemporary English
self-deception — self deceptive, adj. /self di sep sheuhn, self /, n. the act or fact of deceiving oneself. Also called self deceit /self di seet , self /. [1670 80] * * * … Universalium
self-deception — self′ decep′tion n. the act or fact of deceiving oneself. Also called self′ deceit′ • Etymology: 1670–80 self′ decep′tive, adj … From formal English to slang
self-deception — self de ception n [U] when you make yourself believe that something is true when it is not … Dictionary of contemporary English
self-deception — self de ception noun uncount the action of making yourself believe something good that is not true, especially something about yourself … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English