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False Consciousness$
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Denise Meyerson

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198248194

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198248194.001.0001

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Rogue Desires

Rogue Desires

(p.130) IV Rogue Desires
False Consciousness

Denise Meyerson

Oxford University Press

Marcuse says not merely that ‘false needs…perpetuate toil, aggressiveness, misery and injustice’, but also that they are ‘determined by external powers over which the individual has no control’. This chapter investigates whether the history of a desire can be a defect in it, and in particular whether the history of ideological desires makes for a defect. This chapter argues that ideological desires are rogue because their causation is abnormal and they are destructive of our freedom. Desires which are abnormally caused are likely to be foreign to human nature, impediments to whatever is effective psychological functioning for us, and that means they are likely to diminish our freedom. False consciousness and freedom is compatible with the truth of determinism. Certain ways of influencing people's characters and dispositions are likely to produce individuals who enjoy freedom.

Keywords:   Marcuse, rogue desires, causation, freedom, false consciousness, determinism, characters, dispositions

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