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self-defeating


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In practical reasoning a strategy is self-defeating when following it interferes with achieving the goals it sets out to further. Thus the strategy of maximizing personal pleasure may be self-defeating if by following it one decreases one's chance of obtaining personal pleasure. Various plausible mechanisms make this quite likely (see hedonism, paradox of). Utilitarianism is sometimes thought to be self-defeating, in that a society of persons reasoning in a utilitarian way might do worse than one in which other forms of practical reasoning are used.

Subjects: Philosophy.


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