Crítica, Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía, Volume 15, number 45, December 1983
La irracionalidad y el auto-engaño
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Silvia Bello
Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México


Abstract: In this paper I have tried to present what seem to me the main problems to be confronted in explaining the formation of motivated, irrational beliefs, and the most important recent contributions to a solution of such problems.

First, I make some classifications and present some important features of the different cases of motivated irrational belief formation. After expounding the problems and the central points that stand in need of explanation, I consider Davidson's view of the conflict between our standard way of describing and explaining mental phenomena and the idea that such phenomena can be irrational. Then, I present Davidson's suggestion to reconcile an explanation that shows a belief to be irrational with the element of rationality inherent in the description of any propositional attitude. I consider Davidson's and Pears' criteria for drawing a dividing line between mental systems, and argue that Davidson's criterion seems too wide and should be restricted to cases where motivation is involved. I also argue that it is the weaker version of Pears' criterion that must be defended and confronted with Davidson's.
[S.B.]
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