Monday, May 19, 2014

What Is Self-Deception? (Greg Bahnsen's Doctoral Dissertation)

"Self deception involves an indefensible belief about one's beliefs. That is, S perpetrates a deception on himself when, because of the distressing nature of some belief held by him, he is motivated to misconstrue the relevant evidence in a matter and comes to believe that he does not hold that belief, although he does. When he holds a belief that is discomforting, the self-deciever simultaneously brings himself to believe that he does not hold it, and toward the end of maintaining that unwarranted second-order belief he presses into service distorted and strained reasoning regarded the evidence which is adverse to his desires. He not only hides from himself his disapprobated belief, but when he purposely engages in self-deception he hides the hiding of that belief as well."1

1.  Greg L. Bahnsen, A Conditional Resolution of the Apparent Paradox of Self-Deception (USC Doctoral Dissertation [Philosophy], June 1978), p. 48 

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