Self-deception and its interaction with introspection

  • Guglielmo Guarrasi

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis (MPhil)


Self-deception is a tricky phenomenon to define, especially once we realise the further complications its interaction with introspection might lead to. In this dissertation I am to analyse these two phenomena to show their compatibility. In fact, I am going to argue that, although self-deception is an instance where introspection fails whereas the latter can cause the end of a self-deceive state, no problematic interference happens between them. To reach this aim I am going to rely on the studies conducted by Nisbett and Wilson on instances where subjects fail to introspect certain mental states or processes. I will use this to argue that it is then possible for a subject to fail to introspect certain aspects of their mental life and, thusly, self-deceive. In turn, I am going to show how having areas where introspecting gives us the wrong result is not a major problem as it is a characteristic it shares with sense perception, which is something we are used to rely on.
Date of Award13 Jun 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of St Andrews
SupervisorSimon James Prosser (Supervisor)


  • Philosophy of mind
  • Introspection
  • Self-deception
  • Knowing ourselves
  • Consciousness
  • Irrationality

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