Paradoxes of Irrationality

Donald Davidson

in Problems of Rationality

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780198237549
Published online August 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601378 | DOI:
Paradoxes of Irrationality

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The author believes that large‐scale rationality on the part of the interpretant is essential to his interpretability, and therefore, in his view, to her having a mind. How, then are cases of irrationality, such as akrasia or self‐deception, judged by the interpretant's own standards, possible? He proposes that, in order to resolve the apparent paradoxes, one must distinguish between accepting a contradictory proposition and accepting separately each of two contradictory propositions, which are held apart, which in turn requires to conceive of the mind as containing a number of semi‐independent structures of interlocking beliefs, desires, emotions, memories, and other mental states.

Keywords: akrasia; belief; desire; interpretation; irrationality; paradox; rationality; self‐deception

Chapter.  8485 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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