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Self-Deception and Paradoxes of Rationality cover

Self-Deception and Paradoxes of Rationality

Jean-Pierre Dupuy

“Self-Deception is one of the topics that lends itself best to the task of exploring the possibilities of cross-fertilization between ‘continental philosophy’ and ‘analytic philosophy’. Fifty years ago, in Being and Nothingness, Sarte defined the core notion of ‘Bad Faith’ as lying to oneself. On the other side of the Atlantic, Self-Deception has become one of the most exciting puzzles in the philosophy of mind, and a number of paradoxes encountered by the theory of rational choice involve that very same notion. One of the objectives of the conference was to show that bridges can be thrown over the gap between the two traditions, but also that both of them make self-deception too intrapsychic and suffer from a serious individualistic bias. The conferences was intended to explore the intersubjective and social dimensions of self-deception.

The conference was conceived as a confrontation between three (very) different sources of ideas, models, theories regarding self-deception-a confrontation which had never taken place before:

  1. Donald Davidson's philosophy of mind and philosophy of action;
  2. the literature on the foundations of rational choice theory and, in particular, the so-called ‘paradoxes of rationality’
  3. René Girard's theory of mimetic desire and its relationship to Sartre's ‘onto-phenomenology’.“

—Jean-Pierre Dupuy from the “Introduction”

Jean-Pierre Dupuy is professor of social and political philosophy at the Ecole Polytechnique, Paris; founding director of CREA (Centre de Recherche en Epistémologie Appliquée), the philosophical research group of Ecole Polytechnique; and professor in the Departments of French and Italian and Politcal Science at Stanford University. He is also a CSLI resercher.


  • Contributors
  • Preface
  • Who Is Fooled?
    Donald Davidson
  • 2 Division and Deception: Davidson on Being Self-Deceived
    Ariela Lazar
  • 3 Two Paradoces of Self-Deception
    Alfred R. Mele
  • 4 Madness and the Divided Self: Esquirol, Sartre, Bateson
    Mark Rogin Anspach
  • 5 Keeping Self-Deception in Perspective
    Lawrence Beyer
  • 6 Rationality and Self-Deception
    Jean-Pierre Dupuy
  • 7 Cooperation and Time
    John Ferejohn
  • 8 (Apparent) Paradoxes of Self-Deception and Decision
    Ken Bach
  • Index


ISBN (Paperback): 1575860686 (9781575860688)
ISBN (Cloth): 1575860694 (9781575860688)
ISBN (Electronic): 1575867893 (9781575867892)

Subject: Philosophy; Self-Deception

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