Maiya Jordan

maiyaI am a PhD student at McGill working under the supervision of Professors Ian Gold, Alia Al-Saji and David Davies. I received a B.A. Honours (2010) and an M.A. (2011) in Philosophy from the University of Sheffield.

My thesis centres on questions of self-awareness and the normativity of belief, specifically with regards to self-deception. Since, unlike ‘other-deception’, self-deception can apparently occur deliberately and synchronically for a single agent, its possibility raises a number of puzzles. For example: How can I possibly self-deceive without being aware of such? How can my lie even get going given that we tend to think that lying is intentional and that what I believe is not subject to my intentions?

There is currently little general consensus on how we are to understand self-deception and correlatively no general consensus on how we should solve the above problems. Moreover, to the extent that there is a growing consensus, that consensus is deflationist (anti-Intentionalist) in character: the research programme of Intentionalism, insisting as it does on the core claim that the self-deceiver must intend her self-deception, seems to be fraught with insuperable difficulties. In short, its proposed solution seems simply to re-instate the very paradox it was supposed to remove. Yet deflationist positions seem to be equally untenable: not only do they deny the existence of a real phenomenon – (intentional) self-deception – but they unknowingly inherit many of the errors of the Intentionalism they are seeking to avoid. An impasse threatens, while the paradox remains in place.

I hope to advance a different solution which preserves the intentionality of self-deception while eschewing Intentionalism. For this I am particularly concerned with the norms of evidence selection and with the nature of self-awareness.

I am also interested in contemporary analytic philosophy of mind, epistemology and debates around methodology (specifically with regards to naturalism and transcendental arguments).