Stubborn belief, like self-deception, is a species of motivated irrationality. The nature of stubborn belief, however, has not been investigated by philosophers, and it is something that poses a challenge to some prominent accounts of self-deception. In this paper, I argue that the case of stubborn belief constitutes a counterexample to Alfred Mele’s proposed set of sufficient conditions for self-deception, and I attempt to distinguish between the two. The recognition of this phenomenon should force an amendment in this account, and should also make a Mele-style deflationist think more carefully about the kinds of motivational factors operating in self-deception.
KeywordsIrrational Belief Wishful Thinking Affective Factor Great Warrant General Sort
Thanks to Matt Soteriou, and the two anonymous referees from this journal, for their helpful comments on previous drafts of this paper. Thanks also to the audience at the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology meeting, Senate House, London, September 2012, for their comments on this material.
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