“I’m only enjoying that wine because of what it signals”
“I’m only enjoying that food because I know it’s organic”
“I’m only enjoying that movie scene because I know what happened before it”
It might be helpful for me to figure out whether I’m “actually” enjoying the wine, or if it’s a sort of a crony belief: disentangling those is useful to make better decisions for myself, in say, deciding to go to a wine-tasting if status-boost among those people isn’t relevant to me.
Perhaps similarly, I’m better off knowing if my knowledge of whether this food item is organic is interfering with my taste experience.
But then in the movie example, no one would dispute the knowledge is relevant to the experience! Going back to our earlier ones, maybe just the knowledge there was relevant, and “genuinely” making it a better experience?
Maybe my degree of liking a food item is a function of both “knowledge of organic origin” and “chemical interactions with tongue receptors” just like my degree of liking of a movie is a function of both “contextual buildup from the narrative” and “the currently unfolding scene”?
Some questions to think about:
Do some of these point legitimately or illegitimately at self-deception?
Are some of these a confusion of levels and others less so?
Are some of these instances of working wishful thinking?
Are some of these better seen as actions rather than rationalizations?
Other examples to meditate on simultaneously, with helpful variance in their sense of how solved each feels:
“I only upvoted that because of who wrote it”
“I only care about my son because of how it makes me feel”
“I only had a moving experience because of the alcohol and hormones in my bloodstream”
“I only moved my hand because I moved my fingers”
“I’m only exhibiting courage because I’ve convinced myself I’ll scare away my opponent”
“I only look pretty because of my cosmetics/surgery”
PS. I do think we’ve learnt that there are more ways words can be wrong than just being disguised queries. In any case, the “real question” I’m trying to ask is: what are some criteria for determining when it is appropriate to decouple, even if only internally? Are there cases where you might overcorrect for fallacies of compression? Is there possibly a compact set of criteria that we could workshop? I have an inkling there might.
Note: this question has been expanded and heavily reworded from a previous version, making some of the comments less comprehensible. Apologies.