One of the most common views about self- deception ascribes contradictory beliefs to the self- deceiver. In this paper it is argued that this view (the contradiction strategy) is inconsistent with plausible common- sense principles of belief attribution. Other dubious assumptions made by contradiction strategists are also examined. It is concluded that the contradiction strategy is an inadequate account of self- deception. Two other well- known views -- those of Robert Audi and Alfred Mele -- are investigated and found wanting. A new theory of self- deception relying on an extension of Mark Johnston's subintentional mental tropisms is proposed and defended."Self-Deception and Belief Attribution"

Steven D. Hales


volume 101, number 2, 1994

Pp. 273-289

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