Mistakes about Motives and Motivated Mistakes

Denise Meyerson

in False Consciousness

Published in print May 1991 | ISBN: 9780198248194
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191681073 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Philosophical Monographs

Mistakes about Motives and Motivated Mistakes

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For Marx and Engels members of the ruling class were dressing up their real motives in more respectable clothing and fooling themselves with the disguise. Beliefs that serve class interests could lead to the members of the class having that belief. This chapter presents these hypotheses: belief is genetically programmed; desire might directly cause belief; and subjects are motivated by either the suspicion or the thought that an unwanted belief is true. This chapter points out that there is no need to deny that some members of the class might be passive in respect of their desires and some must have the intention to ‘make up illusions and ideas about themselves’. Discussions in this chapter include: happy accidents and systematic correlations; non-traditional causation; desires and plans; and how motivated mistakes are possible.

Keywords: Marx; Engels; motives; beliefs; class interests; desires; happy accidents; causations; motivated mistakes

Chapter.  14140 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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