Must false consciousness be rationally caused?

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 28 (1):69-82 (1998)
Abstract
Denise Meyerson has recently argued that the adaptational account of false consciousness must appeal to a psychological element, contrary to explicit declarations of its proponents. In order to explain why the rulers genuinely hold ideological beliefs, one must take them to desire to think well of themselves. She concludes that the desire to think well of oneself causes the ideological beliefs. The article defends the adaptational account from Meyerson's attempt to ground it in the psychology of the rulers. Meyerson is wrong both in thinking that the desire in question is explanatorily necessary and in thinking that its explanatory role would consist in its causing ideological beliefs.
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