What Does the Self-Deceiver Want?
According to a recent theory of the motivational content of self-deception (Funkhouser, 2005), the self-deceiver wants to be in a state of mind of belief that p, upon which her want that p be true would be merely contingent. While I agree with Funkhouser that the self-deceiver is considerably moved by an interest in believing that p, which makes it possible for her to relate to reality in a highly prejudiced way, I will argue that it is unlikely that the self-deceiver’s primary want to believe, or interest in believing that p occurs as the result of a merely contingent interest in p being true. I will finally assess various consequences of the view I favor, regarding the self-deceiver’s avoidance behaviour, “twisted” self-deception, and whether we should provide a unifying account of “straight” and “twisted” self-deception.
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