PHI6676: Lies and Self Deception 3
Prerequisite: Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics or Admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics or permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator Self-deception is a common phenomenon. In fact, nearly everyone seems to have a friend or family member who they think is self-deceived- e.g., about the faithfulness of his or her lover, about his or her beliefs for (or against) a particular religion or political party, and so forth. This apparent ability to lie to oneself ion the face of the evidence seems to be a rather contemptuous vice. However, recent psychological studies seem to suggest that at least some forms of self-deception are life-enhancing. Thus, it might seem that self-deception can be a virtue. In this course, we examine the nature of self-deception, evaluate its ambiguous ethical status, and reflect on how these insights should affect the way that we live. In addition to satisfying the undergraduate requirements for the course, graduate students will be required to demonstrate graduate-level research proficiency both in writing and in oral presentation of written research.