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Self-Deception

3.43  ·  Rating Details ·  23 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
With a new chapter

This new edition of Herbert Fingarette's classic study in philosophical psychology now includes a provocative recent essay on the topic by the author. A seminal work, the book has deeply influenced the fields of philosophy, ethics, psychology, and cognitive science, and it remains an important focal point for the large body of literature on self-deception
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Paperback, 189 pages
Published February 23rd 2000 by University of California Press (first published 1969)
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Ryan
Feb 03, 2012 Ryan rated it it was ok
In short: Read Appendix B, but not the rest of the book (unless you really want to).

A couple of psychology graduates I know have taken a Self-Deception course in university, with this book being used as the "textbook" (though it's written more like a long essay rather than a textbook).

Self-deception is typically thought of as paradoxical. The problem can be stated in the question: How can someone who believes something to be true deceive himself into believing otherwise? In other words, how can
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Robert Wechsler
Mar 19, 2015 Robert Wechsler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
In this excellent book, Herbert Fingarette takes an eye-opening philosophical-psychological approach to a phenomenon that seems paradoxical and, therefore, difficult to understand. How can someone effectively lie to himself as well as to others (and is it still a lie)? How can someone know something and yet not know it, or believe something that he knows is not true?

When we engage with the world, Fingarette says, we only "spell out" to ourselves what we are doing when we have a special reason to
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Mary Overton
"If we turn first to the context in which a person puts himself in self-deception, we can say, generally, that such a person has three options. We suppose, of course, that the individual is in a situation in which he is strongly inclined to a form of engagement which is radically inconsistent with the person's governing principles (the person's avowed aims, ideal, values, cultivated tastes, moral principles). One option ... is for the individual to forego the engagement, or to abandon it.... Nor ...more
Eric Chevlen
Oct 19, 2013 Eric Chevlen rated it it was ok
Although I gained a valuable idea from "Self-Deception" by Herbert Fingarette, I do not recommend it for most readers. It is heavy with the argot of professional philosophers. (If you want a comparison between Fingarette's ideas and those of Sartre, Kierkegaard, and Freud, then you certainly SHOULD read this book.) The seminal idea is well summarized in an article entitled "Self-Deception Needs No Explaining," which the author published in The Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 48, # 192, July 1998, ...more
Bob
Jun 24, 2016 Bob rated it really liked it
Self-Deception by Herbert Fingarette is a good read; a little slow at times but insightful & informative. To sum it up we do deceive ourselves, the reasons we do so & even how we do so is discussed. Let me just quote the author: “Self-deception puzzled us. …the truth, however, was that the puzzle arose because of certain mistaken assumptions about how in general the mind works. Explaining correctly how the mind works reveals self-deception as non-puzzling & in no need of any special ...more
Xandri Fiori
Nov 26, 2016 Xandri Fiori rated it really liked it
Shelves: irrational-evil
Thorough analysis on the subject. Uses examples from literature (The Iceman Cometh), as well as the primary philosopher on the subject (Kierkegaard, godly deceiver). Cuts down to exactly what self-deception is, the purposeful--and only vaguely so--refusal to spell out the premises one operates on in order to remain "unknowing" and therefore morally distanced from them.

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Nov 22, 2014 Peter Owens rated it really liked it
Strong. An important text in the field of self-deception vis a vis Sartre and Kierkegaard.
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Herbert Fingarette is an American philosopher and emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his PhD at the University of California, Los Angeles under the direction of Donald Piatt.

Fingarette's work deals with issues in philosophy of mind, psychology, ethics, law, and Chinese philosophy.
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“If our subject persuades himself to believe contrary to the evidence in order to evade, somehow, the unpleasant truth to which he has already seen that the evidence points, then and only then is he clearly a self-deceiver.” 10 likes
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