Analyse & Kritik

Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory


"Marcia Cavell"

Titel: Understanding Irrationality
Autor: Marcia Cavell
Seite: 124-140

Abstract: Recent philosophical work attempts to understand irratianal acts on the model of practical reasoning. Such acts are regarded as intelligible in the light of ordinary propositional attitudes which are nevertheless conjoined in a way that explains the irrationality. It is here argued that Some irrational acts cannot be so understood; that they are not actions, per se; and that Freud's notion of "primary process", particularly in its emphasis on hallucinatory wish-fulfillment and on what he calls "omnipotence of thought", provides a useful description of such acts. Where hallucinatory wish-fulfillment (or phantasy) is operative, an anxiety or need causes an agent to see the world as one in which the anxiety-provoking state does not exist or has somehow been dealt with satisfactorily. The need or lack is not acknowledged, as it is when one can properly speak of desire and of a reasoning that attempts to implement it.

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