Kevin Lynch

Huaqiao University
  •  582
    According to the pragmatic hypothesis testing theory, how much evidence we require before we believe something varies depending on the expected costs of falsely believing and disbelieving it. This theory has been used in the self-deception debate to explain our tendencies towards self-deceptive belief formation. This article argues that the application of this theory in the self-deception debate has overlooked the distinction between belief and acceptance, and that the theory in all likelihood m…Read more
  •  636
    Being Self-Deceived about One’s Own Mental State
    Philosophical Quarterly 72 (3): 652-672. 2022.
    A familiar puzzle about self-deception concerns how self-deception is possible in light of the paradoxes generated by a plausible way of defining it. A less familiar puzzle concerns how a certain type of self-deception—being self-deceived about one's own intentional mental state—is possible in light of a plausible way of understanding the nature of self-knowledge. According to this understanding, we ordinarily do not infer our mental states from evidence, but then it's puzzling how this sort of …Read more
  •  556
    This article discusses a kind of knowledge classifiable as knowledge-wh but which seems to defy analysis in terms of the standard reductive theory of knowledge-wh ascriptions, according to which they are true if and only if one knows that p, where this proposition is an acceptable answer to the wh-question ‘embedded’ in the ascription. Specifically, it is argued that certain cases of knowing what an experience is like resist such treatment. I argue that in some of these cases, one can know that …Read more
  •  287
    Self-Deception, by Eric Funkhouser (Routledge, 2019) (review)
    Philosophy 95 (1): 147-151. 2020.
  •  414
    Paradigm Case Arguments
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2019.
    From time to time philosophers and scientists have made sensational, provocative claims that certain things do not exist or never happen that, in everyday life, we unquestioningly take for granted as existing or happening. These claims have included denying the existence of matter, space, time, the self, free will, and other sturdy and basic elements of our common-sense or naïve world-view. Around the middle of the twentieth century an argument was developed that can be used to challenge many su…Read more
  •  631
    Knowing how, basic actions, and ways of doing things
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (8): 956-977. 2019.
    This paper investigates whether we can know how to do basic actions, from the perspective according to which knowing how to do something requires knowledge of a way to do it. A key argument from this perspective against basic know-how is examined and is found to be unsound, involving the false premise that there are no ways of doing basic actions. However, a new argument along similar lines is then developed, which contends that there are no ways of doing basic actions in any sense that matters …Read more
  •  1
    A Defense of a Deflationary Theory of Self-Deception
    Dissertation, Warwick University. 2012.
  •  662
    The divisibility of basic actions
    Analysis 77 (2): 312-318. 2017.
    The notion of basic action has recently come under attack based on the idea that any putative basic action can always be divided into more basic sub-actions. In this paper it is argued that this criticism ignores a key aspect of the idea of basic action, namely, the ‘anything else’ part of the idea that basic actions are not done by doing anything else. This aspect is clarified, and it is argued that doing the sub-actions of which a putative basic action consists does not amount to doing somethi…Read more
  •  731
    An agentive non-intentionalist theory of self-deception
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (6): 779-798. 2017.
    The self-deception debate often appears polarized between those who think that self-deceivers intentionally deceive themselves (‘intentionalists’), and those who think that intentional actions are not significantly involved in the production of self-deceptive beliefs at all. In this paper I develop a middle position between these views, according to which self-deceivers do end up self-deceived as a result of their own intentional actions, but where the intention these actions are done with is no…Read more
  •  483
    Irrationality, by Lisa Bortolotti (Polity Press, 2014) (review)
    International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (4): 605-609. 2015.
  •  924
    On the “tension” inherent in self-deception
    Philosophical Psychology 25 (3): 433-450. 2012.
    Alfred Mele's deflationary account of self-deception has frequently been criticised for being unable to explain the “tension” inherent in self-deception. These critics maintain that rival theories can better account for this tension, such as theories which suppose self-deceivers to have contradictory beliefs. However, there are two ways in which the tension idea has been understood. In this article, it is argued that on one such understanding, Mele's deflationism can account for this tension bet…Read more
  •  861
    Though the psychoanalytic method of interpretation is seen by psychoanalysts as a reliable scientific tool for investigating the unconscious mind, its reputation has long been marred by what’s known as the consensus problem: where different analysts fail to reach agreement when they interpret the same phenomena. This has long been thought, by both practitioners and observers of psychoanalysis, to undermine its claim to scientific status. The causes of this problem, however, are dimly understood.…Read more
  •  398
    A distinction can be made between those who think that self-deception is frequently intentional and those who don’t. I argue that the idea that self-deception has to be intentional can be partly traced to a particular invalid method for analyzing reflexive expressions of the form ‘Ving oneself’ (where V stands for a verb). However, I take the question of whether intentional self-deception is possible to be intrinsically interesting, and investigate the prospects for such an alleged possibility. …Read more
  •  7150
    Willful ignorance and self-deception
    Philosophical Studies 173 (2): 505-523. 2016.
    Willful ignorance is an important concept in criminal law and jurisprudence, though it has not received much discussion in philosophy. When it is mentioned, however, it is regularly assumed to be a kind of self-deception. In this article I will argue that self-deception and willful ignorance are distinct psychological kinds. First, some examples of willful ignorance are presented and discussed, and an analysis of the phenomenon is developed. Then it is shown that current theories of self-decepti…Read more
  •  754
    A Multiple Realization Thesis for Natural Kinds
    European Journal of Philosophy 20 (3): 389-406. 2010.
    Two important thought-experiments are associated with the work of Hilary Putnam, one designed to establish multiple realizability for mental kinds, the other designed to establish essentialism for natural kinds. Comparing the thought-experiments with each other reveals that the scenarios in both are structurally analogous to each other, though his intuitions in both are greatly at variance, intuitions that have been simultaneously well received. The intuition in the former implies a thesis that …Read more
  •  1049
    Self-Deception and Stubborn Belief
    Erkenntnis 78 (6): 1337-1345. 2013.
    Stubborn belief, like self-deception, is a species of motivated irrationality. The nature of stubborn belief, however, has not been investigated by philosophers, and it is something that poses a challenge to some prominent accounts of self-deception. In this paper, I argue that the case of stubborn belief constitutes a counterexample to Alfred Mele’s proposed set of sufficient conditions for self-deception, and I attempt to distinguish between the two. The recognition of this phenomenon should f…Read more
  •  1096
    Self-deception and shifts of attention
    Philosophical Explorations 17 (1): 63-75. 2014.
    A prevalent assumption among philosophers who believe that people can intentionally deceive themselves (intentionalists) is that they accomplish this by controlling what evidence they attend to. This article is concerned primarily with the evaluation of this claim, which we may call ‘attentionalism’. According to attentionalism, when one justifiably believes/suspects that not-p but wishes to make oneself believe that p, one may do this by shifting attention away from the considerations supportiv…Read more