PHI3674: Lies and Self Deception 3

Description: Self deception is a common phenomenon. In fact, most people seem 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 concerning a particular religion or political party, etc.) This apparent ability to lie to oneself in 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.