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.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

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  • self-defeating — /self di fee ting, self /, adj. serving to frustrate, thwart, etc., one s own intention or interests: His behavior was certainly self defeating. * * * …   Universalium

  • self-defeating — self de feating adj causing even more problems, or causing exactly the same problems and difficulties that you are trying to prevent or deal with ▪ Constant dieting can be self defeating …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • self-defeating — [self′di fēt′iŋ] adj. that defeats its own purpose or unwittingly works against itself …   English World dictionary

  • self-defeating — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ (of an action or policy) unable to achieve the end it is designed to bring about …   English terms dictionary

  • self-defeating — ADJ GRADED A plan or action that is self defeating is likely to cause problems or difficulties instead of producing useful results. Dishonesty is ultimately self defeating. ...self defeating patterns of thought and behavior …   English dictionary

  • self-defeating — adjective Something, such as a plan or action, which contains elements that will cause it to fail. Cutting off your nose to spite your face is self defeating …   Wiktionary

  • self-defeating — self de|feat|ing [ ,self dı fitıŋ ] adjective causing the same problems that you were intending to solve …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • self-defeating — self′ defeat′ing adj …   From formal English to slang

  • self-defeating — UK [ˌself dɪˈfiːtɪŋ] / US [ˌself dɪˈfɪtɪŋ] adjective causing the same problems that you were intending to solve …   English dictionary

  • self-defeating — (Roget s 3 Superthesaurus) a. *shooting oneself in the foot, *cutting off one s nose to spite one s face, defeating its own purpose …   English dictionary for students

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