Self Deception

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By Sancheta
Words 294
Pages 2
Classic self-deception: this is the paradoxical situation where a person can both believe and not believe some fact simultaneously. Good examples of this would include the addicts and pathological types.
The drug addict believes that he or she can break the habit any time he or she wishes; the cigarette addict believes that cigarettes are not dangerous to his or her health; the gambling addict believes that a monumental win is just around the corner; the pedophile doesn’t believe his actions will harm the child.
All of these cases could be considered to be exemplars of self-delusion where the person both knows that his or her actions will lead to some unwanted consequences but chooses to ignore that knowledge. In these cases it would appear that the addiction overcomes or negates the truth but instead substitutes its own rules where the gratification received from the addiction leads to irrational action.
Addictions are usually accompanied by changes in the chemistry of the brain. (reference) The neuroreceptor populations are abnormal. Consequently, it could be argued then that the addict is not self-deceived but simply unable to make rational decisions owing to a brain malfunction even though it might have been self induced.
The pathological self-deceiver is fortunately reasonably rare. These people believe that they are someone else. In Cotard’s syndrome a person believes at the same time that dead people are motionless and speechless, that he can move and talk, and that he is dead. (Wikipedia).
Erotomania is a type of delusion in which the affected person believes that another person, usually a stranger or famous person, is in love with him or her. This action might involve stalking and cause much fear and distress to the person being stalked.…...

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