Skip to main content

Two problems with “self-deception”: No “self” and no “deception”

  • Robert Kurzban (a1)

While the idea that being wrong can be strategically advantageous in the context of social strategy is sound, the idea that there is a “self” to be deceived might not be. The modular view of the mind finesses this difficulty and is useful – perhaps necessary – for discussing the phenomena currently grouped under the term “self-deception.”

Hide All
Barrett H. C. (2005) Enzymatic computation and cognitive modularity. Mind and Language 20:259–87.
Barrett H. C. & Kurzban R. (2006) Modularity in cognition: Framing the debate. Psychological Review 113:628–47.
Churchland P. (1987) Epistemology in the age of neuroscience. Journal of Philosophy 84:544–53.
Dawkins R. & Krebs J. (1978) Animal signals: Information or manipulation? In: Behavioural ecology: An evolutionary approach, ed. Krebs J. & Davies N., pp. 282309. Blackwell Scientific.
Dennett D. (1981) Brainstorms: Philosophical essays on mind and psychology. MIT Press.
Fodor J. (1983) The modularity of mind. MIT Press.
Fodor J. (2000) The mind doesn't work that way. Bradford Books/MIT.
Humphrey N. & Dennett D. C. (1998) Speaking for our selves. In: Brainchildren: Essays on designing minds, ed. Dennet D. C., pp. 3158. Penguin Books.
Kurzban R. (in press) Why everyone (else) is a hypocrite: Evolution and the modular mind. Princeton University Press.
Kurzban R. & Aktipis C. A. (2006) Modular minds, multiple motives. In: Evolution and social psychology, ed. Schaller M., Simpson J. & Kenrick D., pp. 3953. Psychology Press.
Kurzban R. & Aktipis C. A. (2007) Modularity and the social mind: Are psychologists too self-ish? Personality and Social Psychology Review 11:131–49.
Kurzban R. & Christner J. (in press) Are supernatural beliefs commitment devices for intergroup conflict? In: The psychology of social conflict and aggression (The Sydney Symposium of Social Psychology, vol. 13), ed. Forgas J. P., Kruglanski A. & Willimas K. D..
McKay R. T. & Dennett D. C. (2009) The evolution of misbelief. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32(6):493561.
Pears D. (1985) The goals and strategies of self-deception. In: The multiple self, ed. Elster J., pp. 5977. Cambridge University Press.
Pinker S. (1997) How the mind works. Norton.
Rorty A. O. (1985) Self-deception, akrasia and irrationality. In: The multiple self, ed. Elster J., pp. 115–32. Cambridge University Press.
Stich S. (1983) From folk psychology to cognitive science: The case against belief. Bradford.
Taylor S. E. (1989) Positive illusions: Creative self-deception and the healthy mind. Basic Books.
Tooby J. & Cosmides L. (1992) The psychological foundations of culture. In: The adapted mind: Evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture, ed. Barkow J. H., Cosmides L. & Tooby J., pp. 19136. Oxford University Press.
Wegner D. M. (2005) Who is the controller of controlled processes? In: The new unconscious, ed. Hassin R., Uleman J. S. & Bargh J. A., pp. 1936. Oxford University Press.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 8
Total number of PDF views: 71 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 234 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.