Philosophical Psychology 14 (3):313 – 326 (2001)

Abstract
Wishful thinking and self-deception are instances of motivated believing. According to an influential view, the motivated believer is moved by the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain; i.e. the motive of the motivated believer is strictly hedonic--typically, the reduction of anxiety. This anxiety reduction account would, however, appear to face a serious challenge: cases of unwelcome motivated believing [Barnes (1997) Seeing through self-deception, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; Scott-Kakures (2000) Motivated believing: wishful and unwelcome, Nous, 34, 348-375] or "twisted" self-deception [Mele (1999) Twisted self-deception, Philosophical Psychology, 12, 117-137]. Annette Barnes (1997) has recently argued that the anxiety reduction account can, in fact, handle such cases. I show that the anxiety reduction account cannot explain cases of unwelcome believing. Neither precipitous unwelcome believing nor the intensive and recurrent testing of unwelcome hypotheses characteristic of cases of self-deception can be explained by such a view. We have reason, then, to reject the notion that the motivated believer is moved by strictly hedonic interests.
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DOI 10.1080/09515080120072622
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References found in this work BETA

Picoeconomics.George Ainslie - 1992 - Behavior and Philosophy 20:89-94.
Motivated Irrationality.David Pears - 1984 - St. Augustine's Press.
Seeing Through Self-Deception.Annette Barnes - 1997 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Twisted Self Deception.Alfred R. Mele - 1999 - Philosophical Psychology 12 (2):117-137.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Self-Deception.Ian Deweese-Boyd - 2006 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Self-Deception.Eric Funkhouser - 2019 - Routledge.
On the Function of Self‐Deception.Vladimir Krstić - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (4):846-863.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

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Seeing Through Self-Deception.Annette Barnes - 1997 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
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Twisted Self Deception.Alfred R. Mele - 1999 - Philosophical Psychology 12 (2):117-137.
Depth Psychology and Self-Deception.Robert Lockie - 2003 - Philosophical Psychology 16 (1):127-148.
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