Authors
Melanie Sarzano
University of Zürich
Abstract
Melanie Sarzano | : In this paper, I compare cases of self-deception and cases of pragmatic encroachment and argue that confronting these cases generates a dilemma about rationality. This dilemma turns on the idea that subjects are motivated to avoid costly false beliefs, and that both cases of self-deception and cases of pragmatic encroachment are caused by an interest to avoid forming costly false beliefs. Even though both types of cases can be explained by the same belief-formation mechanism, only self-deceptive beliefs are irrational: the subjects depicted in high-stakes cases typically used in debates on pragmatic encroachment are, on the contrary, rational. If we find ourselves drawn to this dilemma, we are forced either to accept—against most views presented in the literature—that self-deception is rational or to accept that pragmatic encroachment is irrational. Assuming that both conclusions are undesirable, I argue that this dilemma can be solved. In order to solve this dilemma, I suggest and review several hypotheses aimed at explaining the difference in rationality between the two types of cases, the result of which being that the irrationality of self-deceptive beliefs does not entirely depend on their being formed via a motivationally biased process. | : Dans cet article, je compare les cas classiques de duperie de soi aux cas que l’on trouve dans les débats sur la question de l’empiètement pragmatique et défends l’idée selon laquelle ces deux types de cas peuvent être compris comme étant produits par un même mécanisme visant à éviter la formation de croyances fausses coûteuses. Cette comparaison nous mène naturellement à former un dilemme à propos de la rationalité des croyances. Le dilemme repose sur l’idée que bien que ce mécanisme mène à la formation de croyances irrationnelles dans les cas de duperie de soi, il ne semble pas affecter la rationa-lité du sujet dans les cas d’empiètement pragmatique : alors que les sujets autodupés sont irrationnels, les sujets décrits dans les cas d’empiètement pragmatique ne le sont pas. Pour résoudre ce dilemme sans rejeter les présupposés selon lesquels les croyances issues de la duperie de soi sont irrationnelles et que les cas sur lesquels repose l’empiètement pragmatique sont rationnels, je propose plusieurs hypothèses visant à expliquer cette différence, prouvant ainsi que ce dilemme n’est qu’apparent et que l’irrationalité de la duperie de soi ne peut uniquement dépendre de ce mécanisme sous l’influence de considérations pratiques.
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DOI https://doi.org/10.7202/1059501ar
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