• Lisa Damm graduated with a PhD in philosophy from the University of California, San Diego in 2009 and then completed a one-year postdoctoral research fellowship at the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research focuses on emotion and psychopathology and their intersection with issues in ethics, philosophy of action, and philosophy of science.


In this paper, I address an ignored topic in the literature on self-deception—instances in which one is self-deceived about their emotions. Most discussions of emotion and self-deception address either the contributory role of emotion to instances of self-deception involving beliefs or assume what I argue is an outdated view of emotion according to which emotions just are beliefs or some other type of propositional attitude. In order to construct an account of self-deception about emotion, I draw a distinction between two variants of self-deception about emotion: cognitively motivated self-deception and phenomenologically motivated self-deception. After providing an account of each variant, I discuss the importance of the role that perception plays in cases of self-deception about emotion. I conclude with a comment on the relevance of this discussion for contemporary debates in moral theory.