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THE DIVIDED SELF - agent to lead herself astray Maybe it is...

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THE DIVIDED SELF Freud: at its core Freud’s is a theory of conscious self-ignorance: one is not aware of many of one’s drives and desires since they are in the unconscious. However, it also contains a mechanism of self-deception. In Freud’s later theory this comes out in the tripartite division of the self into the id, super-ego and ego. The id is the unconscious source of our drives. The ego is the conscious self. Many of the drives of the id are too disturbing for the ego to cope with. So the super-ego comes to repress these over-disturbing drives. (Or, since the super-ego also contains the conscience, it represses them simply because it doesn’t approve of them.) Repressed drives are kept back in the unconscious. What should we identify the agent with? How agent like is the super-ego? Johnston’s example of the self-deceptive belief that one is still sober enough to drive the car. MELE An alternative is to reject the idea that self-deception involves an intention on the part of the
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Unformatted text preview: agent to lead herself astray. Maybe it is just that the agent is deceived, i.e. mistaken, in some particular way. Mele’s four jointly sufficient conditions for entering self-deception in acquiring a belief that p: 1. The belief that p which S acquires is false. 2. S treats data relevant, or at least seemingly relevant, to the truth value of p in a motivationally biased way. 3. This biased treatment is a nondeviant cause of S’s acquiring the belief that p. 4. The body of data possessed by S at the time provides greater warrant for ~p than for p. Mele’s putative four sources of motivated bias: Negative misinterpretation Positive misinterpretation Selective focusing Selective evidence gathering Three more well documented sources of bias: vividness of information availability heuristic confirmation bias...
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