My research centres around the study of self-deception. My PhD (McGill, 2017) examined the role played by self-awareness in self-deception and elucidated how that role can be exploited to solve the central problems of self-deception – the dynamic and static problems. The dynamic problem asks how we can manage to self-deceive without seeing through our self-deceit. The static problem asks how we can avoid the conclusion that one can (as the self-deceived) believe and (as the self-deceiver) not believe the same proposition. I argued that self-deception is possible only if the self-deceiver is somehow aware of her self-deception as such, and also, that this self-awareness must be pre-reflective in structure. From those conclusions, I showed how we can solve the dynamic and static problems.
My research at the CRÉ focuses on a different aspect of self-deception. It focuses on the fact that the self-deceiver must reflectively misrepresent (to herself) her self-deception as a sincere commitment to the truth. This reflective misrepresentation is concurrent with her pre-reflective self-awareness of her self-deceit. I argue that this notion of misrepresentation yields important ontological and ethical results. Regarding the nature of self-deception, it yields the conclusion that the self-deceiver attains her self-deception instantaneously and not via prior means. Regarding ethics, it yields the conclusion that the self-deceiver is predisposed towards moral solipsism, that is, to the view that she is the source of moral value. I argue that this moral solipsism lies at the core of what is morally wrong with self-deception.
Jordan, M. “Representation and Regress”, Husserl Studies 33.1 (2017), 19-43
Jordan, M. “Sartrean Self-Consciousness and the Principle of Identity: Sartre’s Implicit Argument for the Non-Self-Identity of the Subject”, Sartre Studies International 23.2 (2017), 98–113