Can You Succeed in Intentionally Deceiving Yourself?

  • Dion Scott-Kakures Scott-Kakures Scripps College, Claremont, CA, USA
Keywords: intentionalism, interpersonal deception, belief forming processes


According to intentionalists, self-deceivers exercise the sort of control over their belief-forming processes that, in standard cases of interpersonal deception, the deceiver exercises over the deceived’s belief forming processes — they intentionally deceive themselves. I’ll argue here that interpersonal deception is not an available model for the sort of putatively distinctive control the self-deceiver exercises over her belief-forming processes and beliefs. I concentrate attention on a kind of case in which an agent allegedly intentionally causes herself to come to have a false belief. I hope to show that contrary to appearances, the agents in such cases do not intentionally cause themselves to have false beliefs  —  do not intentionally deceive themselves. Indeed, if we take the model of interpersonal intentional deception seriously, we ought to conclude that a self-deceiver, so regarded, deceives herself unintentionally.

How to Cite
Scott-Kakures, D. S.-K. (2018). Can You Succeed in Intentionally Deceiving Yourself?. HUMANA.MENTE Journal of Philosophical Studies, 5(20), 17-39. Retrieved from