Depth psychology and self-deception

Lockie, Robert (2003) Depth psychology and self-deception. Philosophical Psychology, 16 (1). pp. 127-148. ISSN 1465-394X

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Abstract

This paper argues that self-deception cannot be explained without employing a depth-psychological ("psychodynamic") notion of the unconscious, and therefore that mainstream academic psychology must make space for such approaches. The paper begins by explicating the notion of a dynamic unconscious. Then a brief account is given of the "paradoxes" of self-deception. It is shown that a depth-psychological self of parts and subceptive agency removes any such paradoxes. Next, several competing accounts of self-deception are considered: an attentional account, a constructivist account, and a neo-Sartrean account. Such accounts are shown to face a general dilemma: either they are able only to explain unmotivated errors of self-perception--in which case they are inadequate for their intended purpose--or they are able to explain motivated self-deception, but do so only by being instantiation mechanisms for depth-psychological processes. The major challenge to this argument comes from the claim that self-deception has a "logic" different to other-deception--the position of Alfred Mele. In an extended discussion it is shown that any such account is explanatorily adequate only for some cases of self-deception--not by any means all. Concluding remarks leave open to further empirical work the scope and importance of depth-psychological approaches.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Self deception; Unconscious; Alfred Mele
Subjects: Philosophy
Psychology
Depositing User: Rod Pow
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2012 10:34
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2016 09:36
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/176

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