Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-99c86f546-md8df Total loading time: 0.319 Render date: 2021-12-05T03:26:11.167Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

13 - Self-deception and the ‘splitting of the ego’

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 October 2009

Get access

Summary

Who can doubt that we do deceive ourselves? Yet who can explain coherently and explicitly how we do so?

Recent philosophical attempts at such explanation have centred around the assumption that, in essence, the self-deceiver is one who has got himself to believe what he (still) does not believe. So soon as the matter is put thus starkly we are faced with deep paradox, and a good deal of the recent philosophical discussion has been directed toward trying to save the concept while dissolving the paradox.

In the following, I propose a quite different approach to the analysis of self-deception, one which does not centre on the coexistence of inconsistent beliefs, and indeed does not centre on the understanding of self-deception in terms of belief at all. In consequence, the paradox inherent in the ‘two-belief’ approach does not arise, nor does any other paradox.

The analysis of self-deception which I present here is set beside certain of Freud's doctrines. Setting my own account alongside Freud's work is appropriate inasmuch as his doctrine on defence and the unconscious constitutes the most elaborately worked out, the most extensively applied contemporary doctrine touching self-deception. The juxtaposition of these ways of talking about self-deception results, as I see it, in helping to identify and resolve a central incompleteness in Freud's doctrine, an incompleteness whose centrality Freud himself had just come to appreciate at the very end of his life.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1982

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)
1
Cited by

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×