Review of Contemporary Philosophy 12 (1):30-42 (2013)

Mark Maller
Duquesne University (PhD)
It is argued that wishful thinking is an informal logical fallacy and is distinguished from self-deception and delusion. Wishful thinking is unique in that a human desire is the starting point, which remains unfulfilled because of insufficient or no evidence or ignorance, despite the agent’s beliefs. It contrasts with self-deception, a more serious mental state in which the agent hides or denies the truth from himself, regardless of whether it is desired. Wishful thinking is a logical fallacy, depending on the agent’s genuine beliefs as an epistemic dilemma or merely a harmless fantasy. pp. 30–42
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