How Self Deception Cracks the Foundational Relation between Living and Saying

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How Self Deception Cracks the Foundational Relation Between Living and Saying

Psych 436 (XI)

Leendert, Mos

How Self Deception Cracks the Foundational Relation between Living and Saying

Matt McCann


Psychology 436 XI: Self Estrangement

Dr. Leendert (Leo) P. Mos

Wednesday October 16, 2012


In order to give an overview of Fingarettes arguments in chapter 1-4 this paper begins by acknowledging the inescapable paradox inherent within contemporary theories of self-deception. To exhibit this, Fingarette methodically dissects four philosophical interpretations on the subject, pointing out their failures and strengths. I will display how he uses their failure to identify internal purposefulness and sincerity to introduced his own theoretical analyses on the topic of self-deception. With these two traits emphasized as integral for it's functioning, Fingarette goes on to stress how our conceptual definition of consciousness must shift from perceptional understanding to a skill mentality. From this he introduces the terms Spelling Out, which implies a person is explicitly conscious of their engagements.

Following suit I will discuss his analyses on self-covering policies and the implications of their practice in framing a persons identity. Afterwards the concluding portion of this paper will focus on how each decision to avow is considered an accomplishment of the self in the process of creating a personal identity. The symptoms of disavowal, the root of self deception, will also be discussed in order to prepare the reader for an analysis on willful ignorance proposed in Murphy's moral stance on self deception. Concluding with a brief mention of Freud and the tendency for skills learned to become latent in the unconscious of a person through the course of time.

Keywords: Paradox, blindness, purposeful, sincerity, willful ignorance, personal identity, avow, disavow, self deception, policy, skill, latent, unconcious

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