Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What Is Rationalization?

As an accusation, the term "rationalization" appears in casual conversations, weblog posts, and formal essays. Examples I have heard are: "Her explanation sounds like a rationalization to me." "Is what he said really true, or is it just a rationalization?" "His whole theory is a rationalization!"

Rationalizing is fake reasoning for the purpose of convincing oneself or others that one's actions are proper--done either consciously (in which case it is immoral) or as an automatic and hidden act of the subconscious (in which case it is a form of mental illness).

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