Monday, 30 June 2014

Procreation and the Welfare of the Future Child

This week, Masters in Health & Happiness student John J. Parry wonders whether existence constitutes a harm.

I’m not quite at the point in my life where I’m ready to have children (I have an atypical sensitivity to high-pitched screaming and a built-in love of a normal sleeping pattern). However, I have reached the point where a lot of my oldest friends are having/have had children, so I’m currently writing a paper exploring the idea that they may have disadvantaged their children just by the act of creating them.

This may seem like a very counter-intuitive claim. I mean, if it’s bad to come into existence, wouldn’t it be bad that we were born too? “But being born was the best thing ever to happen to me!” I hear you saying. Nevertheless, David Benatar (2008, p18-57) presents quite an interesting view as to how procreation always harms the created child. This view rests on a plausible asymmetry between the relative goodness and badness of the presence of benefits and harms in existent persons on the one hand, and the absence of those same benefits and harms in never-existent persons on the other. This works merely because the decision to procreate or not has two possible basic outcomes: a) a child is created and is therefore able to experience harm and benefit, or b) no child is created and there is a corresponding absence of harm and benefit. The relative value of the benefit and harm in scenario A is fairly simple: the presence of harm is bad and the presence of benefit is good. In this scenario, it would seem that whatever side outweighs the other the difference would be marginal, as we know that neither harms nor benefits occur in isolation throughout life. Conversely, Benatar presents a plausible and interesting difference in scenario B. Based on our intuitions surrounding the prevention of harm and benefit during life, the absence of benefit appears to only be bad when there is a person deprived of that benefit but the absence of harm seems good regardless. This means that in the scenario where the child will never exist, the absence of harm (to them) is always good but the absence of benefit (for them) is only neutral as they don’t exist to be deprived. So, in the comparison between the possibilities, scenario A is always better as it has no down side for the child in terms of the cost/benefit analysis. As we seemingly have either a moral obligation to our children or merely to prevent harm in general, we have a moral obligation not to procreate – because doing so always disadvantages the created child.

This argument looks to be pretty good, and relies on widespread intuition regarding the relative value of the presence or deprivation of harms and benefits. We could, based on this, conclude that all procreation is morally wrong and begin our species’ extinction through abstinence or birth control. However, I’m interested in alternative views of possibility that may have an impact on this argument. Consider modal realism – which in its simplest terms states that all possible worlds exist in the same way as our actual world. In this situation, the decision whether to procreate entails the comparison of two equally real possible worlds (scenarios A & B as above), and as such the relative value of these scenarios is different. This is because if the hypothetical child does not exist at our world, they will exist in an equally real way in the world of one of our closest counterparts. Due to the uncertainty of which world we inhabit at the point of decision, it is natural to conclude that if we have any moral obligation to the future child, we have that obligation to the child regardless of which of the two possible worlds that child comes into existence within. So, the relative value of the absence of harm to that child at our world (by virtue of non-existence) is neither bad nor good, as that harm is only displaced to the other world. Moreover, if it’s only a duty to prevent harm in general that we have, then we cannot prevent that harm and once again the absence of the relevant harm in our world has a neutral value. This would mean that whereas the value of the presence of harm and benefit in A is the same, the relative value of the absence of harm and benefit in B is neutral. Therefore, this suggests to me that we should divorce our procreative decisions from considerations of the child’s welfare, because we have no good option. The idea is that if modal realism is true, then anyone justifying their procreative decisions on the welfare of the future child is misguided – they should instead consider the child’s effect on their own welfare.

I’ve submitted the abstract for this paper to the British Postgraduate Philosophical Association conference in Leeds, and hope to present in September. Further information regarding the conference can be found here and here.


Benatar, D., 2008, Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence (Oxford: Oxford University Press)

Friday, 13 June 2014

Emergencies and Affected Peoples Conference (Natural Disasters and Opportunities for Action Part 5)

Today is the last day of my posts on this blog and I have decided to use it for a shameless plug. If it counts at all, it is absolutely related to the theme of my posts this week!

On 4 July, my colleagues and I will be hosting a conference entitled Emergencies and Affected Peoples: Philosophy, Policy and Practice. Through focused discussion between academics and practitioners, this conference aims to raise awareness of those issues that affect people during natural disasters, conflicts, humanitarian emergencies, etc. Our panellists will offer philosophical and practical insight into humanitarian issues in the hope that, together, we can improve both theory and policy. Really, so that we help those affected.

We will have a keynote speaker, Professor David Alexander (UCL). Originally a geographer and geomorphologist, David has devoted decades to the study and dissemination of knowledge on the topic of natural hazards. He is an expert who makes risk and response manageable as a topic of study. For me, he is someone who confirms that, while there are many disasters that we can’t fix, there is a lot we can do.

After our keynote speech we will have four panels – each with a practitioner and an academic. The panel topics were developed as an opportunity to bridge the gap between disciplines and approaches and help us get to some common ground. The panel topics are:

  • The Agency of Affected People
  • Rebuilding and Reconstruction
  • Long Term Implications of Refugee Situations
  • A Way Forward for Communities

The idea for this conference is quite obvious when you think that my conference organizers and I work in Global Ethics. We have varied interests (surrogacy, education, natural disasters, et al) but we are all working on applied ethics and are trying to influence matters that affect people. There is also an obvious (and direct) link between my research on natural disasters and the emergencies component of the conference.

Like other academics, we want to influence the literature in our particular fields. This conference will give us an opportunity to take this influence one step further and hopefully impact how people think about those affected by natural disaster, conflict and war. Through this, we as individuals are asserting the importance of human life. For me, this conference represents my rejection of helplessness and my opportunity to ‘lighten a little the torments’ of those affected by natural disaster.

To register for the conference, please email with your name and affiliation. The conference is free to attend but registration is required as space is limited.

You now have no excuse for feeling helpless.

Preparing for Natural Disasters (Natural Disasters and Opportunities for Action Part 4)

This week, doctoral researcher Lauren Traczykowski, discusses the ethics of intervention for natural disasters and opportunities for action.

The problems outlined in my previous posts – the environment, humanitarian emergencies – likely seem like common societal problems which need more than just a few of us registering our opinions. So today I will focus my post a little closer to home.

As I have previously said, if for no other reason, you should care about how a government prepares for and responds to natural disasters because a natural disaster WILL affect you at some point. Your life will be in the hands of others. Wouldn’t you like to know that there are robust plans and policies in place for when disaster does strike?

Today I want to focus on preparedness. Preparedness involves a state of readiness for whatever comes. So, let’s take flooding. A government prepares for the possibility of flooding by doing things like checking dams, putting up flood defences and making laws about where people can build homes and businesses (having to do with flood plain management). But governments know that floods will still occur despite their best efforts and therefore the people likely affected must also be prepared. The US Government, which I am more familiar with, reminds people that “anywhere it rains, it can flood”[1]. The USG has therefore established an initiative which asks you to Pledge to Prepare[2]. This is about preparing society for floods (and other natural hazards). But it is also worth noting that by preparing yourself and your family you are making it easier for the government to respond to the disaster. Preparedness initiatives are valuable for society at large because by being personally prepared you are freeing up resources to be diverted to more critical cases.

The West Midlands is incredibly prone to flooding due to the concentration of rivers and waterways flowing in and around Birmingham[3]. We must be acutely aware of flash floods, rivers bursting their banks, or even drains that stop draining. The British Government offers excellent advice as to how we can each, at an individual level, plan for a flood. This involves developing a plan and creating a personal flood kit.[4] Once again, personal preparedness saves your life – but it can also contribute to a more prepared community. This allows for resources to be distributed to the most extreme cases.

Finally, and as usual this week, if the idea of flooding in your area seems too distant to care about, I offer a final way for you to prepare for natural disasters. There is always the possibility of a quick on-set, over-in-a-second-type disaster. In these cases the government might be too distant to do anything to help you or your loved ones. As has been my tradition this week, I would like to offer you advice from the Red Cross. The British Red Cross now offers an app for first aid.[5] It provides step by step instructions on how to assist someone with anything from an allergic reaction to a head injury.

So – be prepared for a natural disaster. You are saving your own life and possibly the lives of others.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

World Humanitarian Summit (Natural Disasters and Opportunities for Action - Part 3)

In a fight between Mother Nature and all the politicians in the world, my money is on Mother Nature. In fact, my money is always on Mother Nature. How arrogant of us to think that we can tame or prevent nature from acting as it chooses. Governments can only expect to prepare for and respond to natural disasters. But even then, the preparation and response operations are so overwhelming, it is (understandably) easy for governments to lose sight of who needs saving. 

This is when international organizations and charities often step in to fill response gaps. And international organizations such as the Red Cross, Medecins Sans Frontieres, UNICEF, and so many others, work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of those affected by natural disaster, conflict, and war.

Their work is to be commended, but for me, their work is still distant to my own life. I still feel a bit helpless. To once again quote Henry Dunant: “The moral sense of the importance of human life: the human desire to lighten a little the torments of all these poor wretches, or restore their shattered courage; the furious and relentless activity which a man summons up at such moments: all these combine to create a kind of energy which gives one a positive craving to relieve as many as one can” (Dunant, 1959, p. 73). Indeed the awesome power of natural disasters to kill and destroy the lives and livelihoods of so many people, triggers a ‘human desire to lighten a little the torments’.

In order to satisfy that ‘craving’ to provide assistance, consider the following: international organizations are organized groups of people working toward a common goal – disaster relief, medical assistance, education – dependent on their organizational mission. We don’t have to belong to a formal organization, though, in order to collectively improve the lives of those affected by natural disasters.

In fact, the UN is now looking to individuals for ideas on how to make better policy for humanitarian intervention. Over the next two years, the UN Secretary General is hosting a World Humanitarian Summit. The goal “is to find new ways to tackle humanitarian needs in our fast-changing world” and they are asking everyone in the world to contribute to these talks. There are to be formal regional and global consultations between now and 2016. In the meantime, there are on-line forums for anyone with an interest in humanitarian related issues to offer thoughts and ideas for action. Register, think, contribute, and #ReShapeAid

Dunant, H (1959) A Memory of Solferino, International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Conference - New Directions in Public Reason

Dates: 16th – 17th June 2014

Contact: Jeremy Williams (

Location: Edgbaston Room, Lucas House, University of Birmingham (G16 on this campus map)



Clare Chambers (Cambridge)
Gerald Gaus (Arizona)
Andrew Lister (Queen’s)
Stephen Macedo (Princeton)
Fabienne Peter (Warwick)
Thomas Sinclair (Oxford)
Kevin Vallier (Bowling Green)
Steven Wall (Arizona)

Recent years have seen a flourishing of the philosophical literature on public reason, with a number of new models of public reason being developed, novel arguments in favour of existing models being advanced, and exploration taking place into the implications of the use of public reason for a range of pressing political controversies. At the same time, critics of public reason liberalism have been deploying new objections, and refining familiar ones.

This two-day conference, hosted by Birmingham’s Department of Philosophy, aims to address new and emerging themes in the political philosophy of public reason, and features contributions from proponents of a range of key perspectives from the contemporary debate.


Monday 16 June:

10.30 – 12.00: Macedo (‘The Practical Uses of Public Reason in a Diverse Democracy’)

12.00 – 13.00: Lunch

13.00 – 14.30: Vallier (‘Public Reason and Public Choice: A Synthesis’)

14.30 – 14.45: Coffee

14.45 – 16.15: Peter (‘From Objective Reason to Public Reason’)

16.15 – 16.30: Coffee

16.30 – 18.00: Wall (‘Razian Authority and Public Reason’)

18.00: Drinks

19.30: Conference dinner

Tuesday 17 June:

10.30 – 12.00: Lister (‘Toleration, Public Reason, and Community’)

12.00 – 13.00: Lunch

13.00 – 14.30: Sinclair (‘International Public Reason’)

14.30 – 14.45: Coffee

14.45 – 16.15: Chambers (‘Political Liberal Neutrality, Public Reason, and State-Recognised Marriage’)

16.15 – 16.30: Coffee

16.30 – 18.00: Gaus (‘Is Public Reason a Normalization Project?: Deep Diversity and the Open Society’)

18.00 End of conference

This event is generously supported by the Leverhulme Trust, the Mind Association, the College of Arts and Law at Birmingham, and the Birmingham University Academic Collaboration Fund (North America).


All are welcome, but space is limited, and registration is required. Registration fees have been kept to a minimum, and are £10 for a single day, or £20 for the whole event, including lunch and coffee. To register, please email

6th Philosophy of Religion Mini Workshop - John Hick Centre for Philosophy of Religion, University of Birmingham

6th Philosophy of Religion Mini Workshop
John Hick Centre for Philosophy of Religion, University of Birmingham

13 June, 2014

Room G52, European Research Institute Building 

2:00-2:45: Toby Betenson (University of Birmingham), ‘Evaluative Claims within the Problem of Evil’

2:45-3:30: Leland Harper (University of Birmingham), ‘Motivations for Divine Action in a Multiverse’

3:30-3:40: Break

3:40-4:40: Trent Dougherty (Baylor University, USA), ‘Visible Faith in a Hidden God’

All welcome!

World Environment Day (Natural Disasters and Opportunities for Action - Part 2)

This week, doctoral researcher Lauren Traczykowski, discusses the ethics of intervention for natural disasters and opportunities for action.

Yesterday I explained that I am mainly interested in the ethics behind why countries do/do not intervene in the affairs of countries affected by natural disaster. Assumptions about what ‘should’ be done and why certain people ‘should’ be helped tend to undermine the inherent value of all persons who are equally deserving of being saved in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Instead, I am pushing for an ethical agenda in natural disaster relief.

Policy makers do have a difficult job – and I accept that I am adding one more thing to all the considerations they already incorporate into decision making. Policy is made following intense negotiation and while balancing a duty to assist with operational capabilities. We as every-day people, though, have an opportunity to influence how policymakers make policies.

This week’s posts are supposed to be aimed at what you can do to contribute to the alleviation of suffering caused by a natural disaster. One of the issues policymakers face is the environment. As I explained in yesterday’s post, my research focuses on planning and policy for natural disasters. But there is an obvious link between natural disasters and the environment. Natural disasters are natural – they are formed by and of the environment and so it is impossible to divorce our use of one from the expectations we have of the other. For example, the use of ground water to irrigate desert fields for farming has been linked to increases in seismic activity in California. Removing water creates underground gaps, earth then moves to fill the gap and makes area around the fault lines more unstable (Goldenberg, 2014). There are also concerns that fracking will destabilize areas and also cause, or at least exacerbate, the effects of earthquakes (RT, 2014). So, if we want to better prepare for natural disasters we need to think about how we utilize the environment.

The 5th of June was World Environment Day. This was a day the United Nations identified as the focus for a campaign “encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment” (United Nations Environment Programme, 2014). This year has been designated the International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and so all WED Events and activities are focused on supporting SIDS. Particularly, WED is trying to bring attention to the effect that climate change has on SIDS. I therefore offer that climate change and an increase in natural disasters are linked. With this, small island states and developing states are disproportionately affected by natural disasters. Indeed, SIDS are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change: they usually have less capital and more corrupt/non-functioning governments with which to respond to natural disasters.

Considering, then, the impact humans have on the environment, the possible natural disaster destruction this causes, and in honour of World Environment Day, what can we do to support the environment and reduce the associated risk of some natural disasters? The World Environment Day website offers some suggestions.

Think about helping.


Goldenberg, S (2014) "Water depletion in California 'may be increasing chance of earthquakes.'" The Guardian 14 May 2014

RT Staff (2014)"Los Angeles becomes largest US city to prohibit fracking." 4 March 2014

Monday, 9 June 2014

Natural Disasters and Opportunities for Action

This week, doctoral researcher Lauren Traczykowski, discusses the ethics of intervention for natural disasters and opportunities for action.

My work focuses on the ethics and appropriateness of intervention in the aftermath of natural disasters. Intervention is necessary because sometimes a national government doesn’t respond by themselves – either because they are unable or unwilling - which leads to unnecessary suffering and death. We can blame response failure on poor planning, lack of situational awareness, and more bad weather or natural disaster that compounds the problem. We even know that extreme poverty exacerbates the effects of natural disasters.

The part of natural disaster response and intervention I am interested in, though, is the ethics that drive our decision-making. I focus on two political issues which have ethical components. First, sovereignty. Governments assert that sovereignty must be observed, and thus consent to intervention must be granted, in all natural disaster scenarios and in order for an intervention to take place. But ethically, sovereignty shouldn’t be a barrier. In fact, sometimes intervention on behalf of the people affected can be seen as intervention in support of the individual’s sovereignty. Second, the human right to welfare – food, shelter, emergency medical attention, and basic security. However, governments upholding this right and assume the associated duty inconsistently. There is also very often an inherent bias as to who governments will deliver the right to welfare. I argue that we need to look beyond sovereignty and accepted norms of welfare desert. We must consider what our ethical responsibility to intervene is when people are suffering from the effects of a natural disaster.

My research obviously keeps me entrenched in atrocity and surrounded by disaster, disease and death. And of course many of you, like me, often feels helpless. Henry Dunant, the founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross, wrote “the feeling one has of one's own utter inadequacy in such extraordinary and solemn circumstances is unspeakable” (Dunant, 1959, p. 72). Despite our feelings of inadequacy in saving those affected by natural disasters, though, we are ethically responsible for those affected by a natural disaster. With that, we need to do our best to make effective, appropriate and ethical policies before disaster strikes.

I will not dwell on the horrific nature of natural disasters and the unethical policies that prevent us from intervening. Instead, I want to use this week to show you that we as individuals are not powerless to make important contributions to those affected by disaster. If you feel like addressing the needs of those millions affected by natural disasters is too big to tackle on your own, you are not alone. But small actions can make a big difference. If you don’t care about this because you don’t care about helping – fine. I am not going to convince you. But you should care and you should be aware of the effects of natural disasters, the duties your governments usually fail to fulfil and what the international community is doing, if for no other reason than that you could be next. Natural disasters, unlike politics and economics, do not care about borders, race or religion. They don’t care who you are - but I would guess you do care about your own life. And so keep reading… tomorrow.

Dunant, H (1959) A Memory of Solferino, International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Desiring to Believe and Self-Deception

This week, postgraduate student Martin Smith considers the relationship between self-deception, the desire to believe and rationality. 

Nicole swears that her husband is faithful. She’s adamant about it. Her friends, though, aren’t convinced. That weekly poker game of his? He spends it with Rachel, they say. They see his car at her place every week. And these friends of Nicole’s are good friends. They wouldn’t say this lightly. But Nicole’s firm; “I just don’t believe any of it”, she says.

She speaks with conviction but her words aren’t the whole story. She won’t drive by Rachel’s place when her friends say he’ll be there. A few times she’s needed to get somewhere and it would have been convenient to just go past Rachel’s. But if it’s ‘poker night’, she’ll avoid that route. It piles minutes on to her journey but she just won’t go near that house.

Nicole is a bit of a puzzle. She says she believes her husband to be faithful. She’s not trying to deceive her friends by saying that. Best as she can tell in that moment, that’s an honest report of her perspective. But still, she doesn’t behave like someone who really believes that.

She seems to have some awareness that things are off. That’s why she avoids Rachel’s house. Part of her, somewhere, we might think, senses her friends have a point. But she’s keeping that sense – that awareness – at bay somehow. She’s blocking it out. She’s self-deceived.[1]

No doubt this self-deception is irrational. Hopefully, if we look at her case more deeply, we should be able to draw from it certain lessons. Namely, lessons about what not to do if we want to remain rational! And what’s interesting about this case, I think, is that the lessons we can draw from it might challenge common assumptions about desire, belief and rationality.

We might be tempted to describe Nicole’s problem like this: she wants too much to believe that her husband is faithful. Or she is too committed to believing that her husband is faithful. This desire/commitment, sadly, we might think, is competing against and trumping the rational demands upon her. Demands, for instance, to be fully attentive to evidence against her husband’s faithfulness. If only she could be less ‘invested’ and more ‘neutral’ regarding her belief that her husband is faithful, she would be more able to be rational.

There is something right in this. I think Nicole’s desire to believe that her husband is faithful is involved, in some way, in her irrationality – her self-deception.[2] But I don’t think the problem is that this desire is too strong. Rather the desire (or commitment) is too weak. Let me explain.

Nicole’s belief that her husband is faithful can’t withstand serious levels of opposing evidence. If she were to find her husband’s car at Rachel’s place, it might not be psychologically possible (it would at least be very hard) for her to continue believing in her husband’s faithfulness. So if Nicole desires to believe that her husband is faithful, evidence that he isn’t will make her uncomfortable. She’ll feel the threat that this evidence poses to her desire. It will be distressing for her.  

What can you do to get out of a distressing situation? One option is to face up to it. When you’re, say, anxious about making a phone call to a friend you’ve upset, you can choose to respond by gritting your teeth and picking up that phone. The distress might temporarily increase as you do so but you’re actually tackling the problem. Once it’s resolved, the distress will disappear.

The other way out of a distressing situation is to avoid it. You put off the phone call. Put it out of your mind. Distract yourself whenever the thought of it arises. Avoidance, no doubt, is easier than facing up to a problem. In avoidance you can experience immediate relief from distress rather than the temporary increase that taking action brings about. But there can be other price tags attached to avoidance, as I hope to show.

Obviously Nicole, rather than facing up to the evidence against her husband’s faithfulness, avoids that evidence. She keeps away from Rachel’s house. Brushes aside memories of suspicious activity. She has some level of awareness of this evidence alright but she keeps it from the centre of conscious attention. It’s always pushed to the peripheries. That’s how she deals with the distress that threats against her desire to believe bring.

Well okay, that’s a little cowardly but she’s getting what she wants, isn’t she? Hasn’t she has kept her belief that her husband is faithful intact? It sure seems like her desire to believe is winning out against the demands of rationality. It seems her desire is being gratified.

Consider, though, that her avoidance of threatening evidence against her husband’s faithfulness seems to call into question whether she does in fact believe him to be faithful. After all, she’s not willing to put that belief to the test. She’s not willing to ‘put her money where her mouth is’. Really, her avoidance of the evidence just seems like distrust that the world really is as she professes to believe it to be. That is, she seems to distrust her judgment that her husband is faithful. But if she distrusts that judgment, does she really believe it? Intuitively, to me, it seems she doesn’t. Or at least, she doesn’t fully believe it.[3]

It seems to me that in avoiding evidence against her belief, Nicole gradually loses that belief by systematically distrusting it. Self-deception may gratify her temporary desire for relief from distress but it sabotages her desire to believe that her husband is faithful. Her desire to believe loses out against her desire for comfort. Self-deception isn’t quite as attractive regarding belief-preservation as it may have seemed.

So what could she have done differently? Could she have better served her desire to believe? Yes, she could have, by facing up to the evidence. Enough avoidance guarantees loss of belief through mistrust. But while facing up to threats to a belief may also lead to loss of that belief, it also opens up the possibility of preserving it.

Confronting the situation allows one to potentially find out that the ‘evidence’ is not what one feared. Perhaps Nicole, if she drove up to Rachel’s house, would find a satisfactory and innocent explanation of it all (Rachel’s help was needed for a surprise for Nicole). Even if the chances of this are slim, they beat the zero-chance of belief-preservation offered by avoidance.

If all this is correct, then Nicole’s desire to believe would have been best served by complying with the demands of rationality. She would have maximised her chances of gratifying that desire by being attentive to the evidence. Really, her failure to be attentive to the evidence is a failure to be properly committed to her desire (and her belief). So rather than her desire competing against the demands of rationality, taking her desire seriously requires meeting those demands.

It’s often thought that desire for a belief, emotional investment in a belief, or commitment to a belief compromises rationality. But the lesson we can draw from cases of self-deception like Nicole’s might be that the problem is not in these attitudes themselves but in the deficient methods we use to (attempt to) uphold them. Deficient methods like choosing avoidance over action (‘facing up’), for instance.  


Funkhouser, E., 2005. Do the self-deceived get what they want? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 86(3), pp.295-312.

Lynch, K., 2012. On the “tension” inherent in self-deception. Philosophical Psychology. 25(3), pp.433-450.


[1] This is an adaptation of a case of self-deception discussed by Funkhouser (2005, p.302).
[2] Of course, she may desire that her husband actually is faithful too. But it’s plausible to think that she also desires to believe that. Even if it were false that her husband were faithful, sincerely believing him to be would surely provides a level of comfort she could easily cherish. Ignorance is bliss after all. For considerations in favour of viewing desire for belief rather than for some state of affairs out there in the world as more significant in self-deception see Funkhouser (2005).
[3] I find plausible something in the spirit of Lynch’s claim that “the extent to which S really believes that p can be gauged by observing the risks he/she is willing to take on that assumption (2012, p.444).”