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Conscious thinking, acceptance, and self-deception

  • Keith Frankish (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 03 February 2011

This commentary describes another variety of self-deception, highly relevant to von Hippel & Trivers's (VH&T's) project. Drawing on dual-process theories, I propose that conscious thinking is a voluntary activity motivated by metacognitive attitudes, and that our choice of reasoning strategies and premises may be biased by unconscious desires to self-deceive. Such biased reasoning could facilitate interpersonal deception, in line with VH&T's view.

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M. E. Bratman (1992) Practical reasoning and acceptance in a context. Mind 101(401):115.

P. Carruthers (2006) The architecture of the mind: Massive modularity and the flexibility of thought. Oxford University Press.

J. St. B. T. Evans (2007) Hypothetical thinking: Dual processes in reasoning and judgement. Psychology Press.

J. St. B. T. Evans (2008) Dual-processing accounts of reasoning, judgment, and social cognition. Annual Review of Psychology 59:255–78.

K. Frankish (2004) Mind and supermind. Cambridge University Press.

K. Frankish (2010) Dual-process and dual-system theories of reasoning. Philosophy Compass 5(10):914–26.

S. A. Sloman (1996) The empirical case for two systems of reasoning. Psychological Bulletin 119(1):322.

K. E. Stanovich (2004) The robot's rebellion: Finding meaning in the age of Darwin. University of Chicago Press.

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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