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Self deception that makes us strangers to ourselves

Virtually every aspect of self-deception, including its definition and paradigmatic cases, is a matter of controversy among philosophers.

Minimally, self-deception involves a person who seems to acquire and maintain some false belief in the teeth of evidence to the contrary as a consequence of some motivation, and who may display behavior suggesting some awareness of the truth.

Beyond this, philosophers divide over whether self-deception is intentional, involves belief or some other sub-or-non-doxastic attitude, Doxastic Assumption. a theory that a belief is justified if it coheres with other beliefs    whether self-deceivers are morally responsible for their self-deception, and whether self-deception is morally problematic (and if it is in what ways and under what circumstances), whether self-deception is beneficial or harmful, whether and in what sense collectives can be self-deceived, how this might affect individuals within such collectives, whether our penchant for self-deception was selected for or merely an accidental byproduct of our evolutionary history, and if it was selected, why?
The discussion of self-deception and its associated puzzles sheds light on the ways motivation affects belief acquisition and retention and other belief-like cognitive attitudes; it also prompts us to scrutinize the notion of belief and the limits of such folk psychological concepts to adequately explain phenomena of this sort. And yet insofar as self-deception represents an obstacle to self-knowledge, both individually and collectively, it is more than just another interesting philosophical puzzle. It is a problem of existential concern, since it suggests that there is a distinct possibility that we live with distorted views of our selves, others and the world that may make us strangers to ourselves and blind to the nature of our significant moral engagement

As a threat to moral self-knowledge, a cover for immoral activity, and a violation of authenticity, self-deception has been thought to be morally wrong or, at least, morally dangerous. Some thinkers, what Martin (1986) calls ‘the vital lie tradition’, however, have held that self-deception can in some instances be salutary, protecting us from truths that would make life unlivable (e.g., Rorty 1972; 1994). There are two major questions regarding the morality of self-deception: First, can a person be held morally responsible for self-deception and if so under what conditions? Second, is there is anything morally problematic with self-deception, and if so, what and under what circumstances? The answers to these questions are clearly intertwined. 

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