Re: Wanting to Want

Robin Hanson (
Fri, 03 Dec 1999 14:38:58 -0500

Glen Finney wrote:
><< It seems to me that you are denying that the phenomena of limerence is
> associated with any degree of fooling oneself about anything.>>
>No, there may indeed be some degree, but I would say that it can vary wildly
>from 0% to 100%. My question to you is this; how do you determine whether
>someone is fooling themselves about being in love or actually is in love?

I don't want to try to tell you how to tell on a case by case basis who is fooling themselves about what. I just claimed that on average people in love do systematically fool themselves about several things. Surely you are familiar with the standard literary scenarios of the foolishness of those in love, and those who were fooled by others who acted like they were more in love than their later actions suggest.

><< More generally, you seem to deny my suggestion that people fool themselves
> into thinking they are more thoughtful, creative, etc. than they are.>>
>... So, am I deluding myself into believing I am thoughtful and creative?

I don't really care about you in particular. But there is a vast literature saying that lots more than half the population think they are better drivers, lovers, stock traders, etc. than average. Men tend to do this more than women.

Robin Hanson Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323