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The Legal and Political Theory Working Group

Dates:
  • Fri 15 Nov 2019 15.00 - 17.00
  Add to Calendar 2019-11-15 15:00 2019-11-15 17:00 Europe/Paris The Legal and Political Theory Working Group

'Political Self-deception' This presentation is focused on a specific mode of political deception that is usually disregarded in political analysis, namely self-deception (SD). As a provisional definition, SD is the distortion of reality against the available evidence and according to one's wishes. The motivated distortion of data produced by SD obviously has significant consequences on the decision-making processes of political leaders, politicians and government officials. Political decisions and policies induced by SD then lead to the deception of the public of a type similar to lies and intentional deception. Political theory so far has considered political deception as induced either by lies, manipulation and willful disinformation, or as the unintended consequence of illusions and misperceptions. The former calls for moral outrage and public exposure; the latter for cognitive analysis. But what if the false belief was candidly believed and, at the same time, the epistemic process of belief-formation was in the grip of an emotionally loaded desire switching on cognitive biases? Neither moral outrage nor purely cognitive analysis is of much help in this case, though political theory has basically oscillated from the first to the second. I shall argue that SD plays a distinctive role in the area of political deception. I do not intend to substitute straight deception with SD, but rather to detect political SD within the wide area of political deception thanks to some necessary conditions for SD to take place. Moreover, I will draw a typology of political SD with reference to its connection with deception. Finally, I will show how groups of decision-makers are likely to arbor self-deceptive processes.

Seminar Room 3 - Badia Fiesolana DD/MM/YYYY
  Seminar Room 3 - Badia Fiesolana

'Political Self-deception' This presentation is focused on a specific mode of political deception that is usually disregarded in political analysis, namely self-deception (SD). As a provisional definition, SD is the distortion of reality against the available evidence and according to one's wishes. The motivated distortion of data produced by SD obviously has significant consequences on the decision-making processes of political leaders, politicians and government officials. Political decisions and policies induced by SD then lead to the deception of the public of a type similar to lies and intentional deception. Political theory so far has considered political deception as induced either by lies, manipulation and willful disinformation, or as the unintended consequence of illusions and misperceptions. The former calls for moral outrage and public exposure; the latter for cognitive analysis. But what if the false belief was candidly believed and, at the same time, the epistemic process of belief-formation was in the grip of an emotionally loaded desire switching on cognitive biases? Neither moral outrage nor purely cognitive analysis is of much help in this case, though political theory has basically oscillated from the first to the second. I shall argue that SD plays a distinctive role in the area of political deception. I do not intend to substitute straight deception with SD, but rather to detect political SD within the wide area of political deception thanks to some necessary conditions for SD to take place. Moreover, I will draw a typology of political SD with reference to its connection with deception. Finally, I will show how groups of decision-makers are likely to arbor self-deceptive processes.


Location:
Seminar Room 3 - Badia Fiesolana

Affiliation:
Department of Law
Department of Political and Social Sciences

Type:
Working group

Speaker:
Prof. Anna Elisabetta Galeotti (SPS Fernand Braudel Fellow and Professor at the University of Eastern Piedmont)

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