It is matter of common observation that "so-and-so does not know his own motives," or that "A is envious of B and malicious about him, but quite unconscious of being so." Such people are called self-deceivers
, and are supposed to have had to go through some more or less elaborate process of concealing from themselves what would otherwise have been obvious.
are often unaware of their conflicting beliefs.
often have stronger motivations for their beliefs.
His novels, Childs notes, are "littered with self-deceivers
from Graham Hendrick in Before She Met Me to Arthur Conan Doyle in Arthur & George" (106).
While recognizing much to be guided by in the thought of Friedrich Nietzsche, whom McNeill regards as the "most penetrating critic of Socrates in the Western tradition," he nonetheless dissents from the Nietzschean characterization of Socrates as the cleverest of self-deceivers
. What, in fact, we have in Socrates is a keenly self-conscious soul, someone who knows himself quite well.
have cultivated the habit and the outlook of self-deception.
Conrad's fiction is full of dreamers and self-deceivers
. His first novel, Almayer's Folly, opens by showing the title character's splendid dreams being invaded by "the unpleasant realities of the present hour" (5).
are unaware that the statement in which they believe is false and therefore are usually unable to reveal the truth.
Certainly philosophical literalists have asserted that, because self-deceivers
believe and disbelieve a proposition at the same time, inquiry founders upon the "irreducibly paradoxical" nature of self-deception, proving further inquiry to be rationally "impossible." (1) But a recent turn in philosophical thinking has sought to obviate the pre-emptive characterization of the self-deceiver
as merely irrational.
But at first glance, when they are no longer self-deceived self-deceivers
seem to discover what they did not know before (the young woman self-deceivingly who choose a scientific career not moved by her own interest but in search of her parents' approval, later discovers her true inclination for fine arts).
Writing in the magazine Psychologist, Dr Myers said: "Repressors are, it seems, self-deceivers
rather than impression managers."
Truth from then on gathered enough power to expose Western fellow travelers as self-deceivers
, liars, or worse.