Self–deception and doxastic voluntarism


  • Gustavo Fernández Acevedo Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata



Self–deception, doxastic voluntarism, conduct, action, beliefs, will


The doctrine known as “doxastic voluntarism”, that is, the idea according to which we can freely adopt our beliefs, has been considered as untenable by most philosophers. Moreover, it is possible to distinguish two versions of this doctrine. The direct doxastic voluntarism corresponding to the latter description; and the indirect doxastic voluntarism, that sustains a more moderate thesis according to which it would be possible to induce certain beliefs in ourselves in an indirect way through the planned modification of our conducts. Bernard Williams, who has presented influential arguments against the direct doxastic voluntarism, has admitted that its indirect variation is possible, but only via self–deception. In this article, different contemporary conceptions of self-deseption are examined, to conclude that under any of these can this phenomenon constitute an efficient means for the indirect voluntary induction of beliefs.

= 316 veces | PDF (ESPAÑOL (ESPAÑA))
= 195 veces| | VISOR (ESPAÑOL (ESPAÑA))
= 12 veces|


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Gustavo Fernández Acevedo, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata

Doctor en Filosofía y Licenciado en Psicología. Profesor titular de Filosofía de las Ciencias e investigador en la Facultad de Humanidades, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata. Ha publicado artículos sobre sus temas de investigación en Análisis Filosó co, Crítica. Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía, y Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid.


Adler, J. (2002). Belief’s Own Ethics. Cambridge, The M.I.T. Press.

Bach, K. (1981). An Analysis of Self Deception. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 41, (3), 351–370.

Barnes, A. (1997). Seeing through self–deception. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Bennett, J. (1990). Why Is Belief Involuntary? Analysis, 50, (2), 87–107.

Bermúdez, J. L. (2000). Self Deception, intentions and contradictory beliefs. Analysis 60, (4), 309–319.

Booth, A. R. (2007). Doxastic voluntarism and self–deception. Disputatio, II, 2 (22), 115–130.

Cook, J. T. (1987). Deciding to Believe Without Self–Deception. The Journal of Philosophy, 84, (8), 441–446.

Davidson, D. (1982). Paradoxes of irrationality. En Richard Wollheim & James Hopkins (eds.). Philosophical Essays on Freud (pp. 289–305) New York: Cambridge University Press.

Davidson, D. (1986). Engaño y división. En Mente, mundo y acción. Barcelona: Paidós.

Demos, R. (1960). Lying to Oneself. Journal of Philosophy, 57, 588–95.

Deweese–Boyd, I.(2012). Self Deception. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Extraído el 10/06/13 de:–deception/

Elster, J. (1979). Ulysses and the Sirens. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Funkhouser, E. (2003). Willing Belief and the Norm of Truth. Philosophical Studies, 115, 179–195.

Funkhouser, E. (2005). Do the Self Deceived Get what they Want? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 86, 295–312.

Gardiner. (1970). Error, Faith and Self Deception. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 70 (1), 221–224.

Lazar, A. (1999). Deceiving Oneself or Self–Deceived? On the Formation of Beliefs ‘Under the In uence’. Mind 108, (430), 265–290.

Levy, N. (2004). Self Deception and Moral Responsibility. Ratio (new series), XVII., 294–311.

Lynch, K. (2010). Self–Deception, Religious Belief, and the False Belief Condition. The Heythrop Journal, LI., 1073–1074.

Mele, A. (1987). Irrationality. An Essay on Akrasia, Self–Deception, and Self– Control. New York–Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mele, A. (1997). Real Self Deception. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20, (1), 91–136.

Mele, A. (2001). Self–deception Unmasked. Princeton, Princeton: University Press.

Nicholson, A. (2007). Cognitive Bias, Intentionality and Self–Deception. Teorema XXVI (3). 45–58.

Nottelman, N. (2006). The Analogy Argument for Doxastic Voluntarism. Philosophical Studies, 131, 559–582.

Oksenberg–Rorty, A. (1988). The Deceptive Self: Liars, Layers and Lairs. En: Brian McLaughlin & Amelie Oksenberg–Rorty (eds.). Perspectives on Self–Deception. University of California Press.

Paluch, S. (1967). Self–Deception. Inquiry, 10, 268–78.

Pears, D. (1985). The goals and strategies of self–deception. En John Elster (ed.), The Multiple Self. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Ryan, S. (2003). Doxastic compatibilism and the ethics of belief. Philosophical Studies, 114, 47–79.

Santamaría Navarro, V. (2009). Beliefs: The Will Besieged by the Evidence. Teorema, XXIII (3), 131–149.

Sartre, J. P. (1943). El Ser y la Nada. Buenos Aires: Losada.

Steup, M. (2008). Doxastic freedom, Synthese, 161, 375–392.

Szabados, B. (1974). Self–Deception. Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 4, 51–68.

Talbott, W. (1995). Intentional Self–Deception in a Single Coherent Self. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55, (1), 27–74.

Thagard. (2011). Critical Thinking and Informal Logic: Neuropsychological Perspectives. Informal Logic 31, (3), 152–170.

Van Leeuwen, D. S. N. (2007). The Product of Self–Deception. Erkenntnis, 67, 419–437.

Van Leeuwen, D. S. N. (2008). Finite rational self–deceivers. Philosophical Studies, 139, 91–208.

Van Leeuwen, D. S. N. (2009). Self–Deception Won’t Make You Happy. Social Theory and Practice, 35, (1), 107–132.

Williams, B. (1973). Deciding to believe. En Problems of the Self. Philosophical Papers 1956–1972. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.



How to Cite

Fernández Acevedo, G. (2018). Self–deception and doxastic voluntarism. Estudios De Filosofía, (57), 139–160.



Original or Research articles

Similar Articles

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.