Is realism really bad for you? A realistic response Neera K. Badhwar 25th november, 2007

Neera K. Badhwar
University of Oklahoma
I. Introduction 1.1 Realism about oneself and one’s circumstances has long been regarded as a hallmark of mental health and authentic happiness by philosophers and psychologists. It has also long invited skepticism from some quarters. Recently, this skepticism has found new support in the work of some social psychologists, who claim that far from being essential for mental health or happiness, realism can be bad for you. Certain positive illusions about yourself, they say, are more conducive to health and happiness than a high degree of realism. I will argue that, properly understood, realism really is good for you. I will begin by showing the importance of realism in psychological, philosophical, and everyday thought about health and happiness. 1.2 Most psychologists and counselors regard healthy individuals as reality-oriented, as “able to take in matters” they wish were different, “without distorting them to fit these wishes.”[1] In a Socratic statement, Gordon Allport declares that “an impartial and objective attitude toward oneself is … a primary virtue, basic to the development of all others. … And so … if any trait of personality is intrinsically desirable, it is the disposition … to see oneself in perspective.”.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 59,916
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Limited Unity of Virtue.Neera Badhwar - 1996 - Noûs 30 (3):306-329.
Is Realism Really Bad for You? A Realistic Response.Neera K. Badhwar - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (2):85-107.
Friendship: A Philosophical Reader.Neera Kapur Badhwar (ed.) - 1993 - Cornell University Press.
How to Be Realistic About Folk Psychology.George Graham & Terence Horgan - 1988 - Philosophical Psychology 1 (1):69-81.
A Realistic Colour Realism.Joshua Gert - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (4):565 – 589.
Good News for the Disjunctivist About the Bad Cases.Heather Logue - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (1):105-133.


Added to PP index

Total views
14 ( #693,727 of 2,433,176 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes