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  1. Roman Altshuler (2013). Practical Necessity and the Constitution of Character. In Alexandra Perry & Chris Herrera (eds.), The Moral Philosophy of Bernard Williams. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
    Deliberation issues in decision, and so might be taken as a paradigmatic volitional activity. Character, on the other hand, may appear pre-volitional: the dispositions that constitute it provide the background against which decisions are made. Bernard Williams offers an intriguing picture of how the two may be connected via the concept of practical necessities, which are at once constitutive of character and deliverances of deliberation. Necessities are thus the glue binding character and the will, allowing us to take responsibility for (...)
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  2. Robert Audi (1989). Practical Reasoning. Routledge.
    Practical Reasoning and Ethical Decision presents an account of practical reasoning as a process that can explain action, connect reasoning with intention, ...
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  3. Robert Audi (1988). Deliberative Intentions and Willingness to Act: A Reply to Professor Mele. Philosophia 18 (2-3):243-245.
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  4. David Barnett (2012). Future Conditionals and DeRose's Thesis. Mind 121 (482):407-442.
    In deciding whether to read this paper, it might seem reasonable for you to base your decision on your confidence (i) that, if you read this paper, you will become a better person. It might also seem reasonable for you to base your decision on your confidence (ii) that, if you were to read this paper, you would become a better person. Is there a difference between (i) and (ii)? If so, are you rationally required to base your decision on (...)
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  5. Renée Bilodeau (2006). The Motivational Strength of Intentions. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 9:129-135.
    According to the early versions of the causal theory of action, intentional actions were both produced and explained by a beliefdesire pair. Since the end of the seventies, however, most philosophers consider intentions as an irreducible and indispensable component of any adequate account of intentional action. The aim of this paper is to examine and evaluate some of the arguments that gave rise to the introduction of the concept of intention in action theory. My contention is that none of them (...)
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  6. Richard Bradley & Christian List (2009). Desire-as-Belief Revisited. Analysis 69 (1):31-37.
    On Hume’s account of motivation, beliefs and desires are very different kinds of propositional attitudes. Beliefs are cognitive attitudes, desires emotive ones. An agent’s belief in a proposition captures the weight he or she assigns to this proposition in his or her cognitive representation of the world. An agent’s desire for a proposition captures the degree to which he or she prefers its truth, motivating him or her to act accordingly. Although beliefs and desires are sometimes entangled, they play very (...)
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  7. R. B. Brandt (1991). Overvold on Self-Interest and Self-Sacrifice. Journal of Philosophical Research 16:353-363.
    In order to explain the idea that sacrifice involves voluntary diminution of the agent’s well-being, “well-being” must be explained. The thesis that an agent’s well-being just consists in the occurrence of events wanted is rejected. Overvold replaces it by the view that the motivating desires involve the existence of the agent, alive, at the time of their satisfaction. This view seems counterintuitive. The whole desire-satisfaction theory is to be rejected partly because we dont’t think an event worthwile if it is (...)
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  8. Mark T. Brown (2005). Three Kinds of Weakness of the Will. Southwest Philosophy Review 21 (2):135-138.
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  9. George Carlson (1982). Internalism and Self-Determination. Philosophy Research Archives 8:415-427.
    As part of an attempt to give a “libertarian” account of some aspects of human agency, the author articulates and defends a modified interpretation of “internalism” which makes coherent the notion of a genuinely, self-determined choice amongst fundamental conceptions of practical reason. That such choices are “nomologically irreducible” is evidenced by the fact that although (contextually) unavoidable, they are nonetheless under-determined with respect to any combination of the agent’s (specific) desires and circumstances. Alternatively, to the extent that orthodox “externalism” subordinates (...)
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  10. Randolph Clarke (2010). Willing, Wanting, Waiting * by Richard Holton. [REVIEW] Analysis 71 (1):191-193.
    (No abstract is available for this citation).
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  11. Jonathan Dancy (1999). Motivation, Dispositions And Aims. Theoria 65 (2-3):212-224.
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  12. John Davenport (2006). The Deliberative Relevance of Refraining From Deciding: A Response to McKenna and Pereboom. [REVIEW] Acta Analytica 21 (4):62 - 88.
    Readers familiar with Harry Frankfurt’s argument that we do not need leeway-liberty (or the power to bring about alternative possible actions or intentions) to be morally responsible will probably also know that the most famous and popular response on behalf of leeway-libertarianism remains a dilemma posed in similar forms by David Widerker, Robert Kane, and Carl Ginet: either the agent retains significant residual leeway in Frankfurt-style cases, or these cases beg the question by presupposing causal determinism. In the last few (...)
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  13. John J. Davenport (2007). Augustine on Liberty of the Higher-Order Will. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 81:67-89.
    I have argued that like Harry Frankfurt, Augustine implicitly distinguishes between first-order desires and higher-order volitions; yet unlike Frankfurt, Augustineheld that the liberty to form different possible volitional identifications is essential to responsibility for our character. Like Frankfurt, Augustine recognizes that we can sometimes be responsible for the desires on which we act without being able to do or desire otherwise; but for Augustine, this is true only because such responsibility for inevitable desires and actions traces (at least in part) (...)
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  14. Harry Frankfurt (1992). The Faintest Passion. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 66 (3):5-16.
  15. Carl Ginet (1986). Voluntary Exertion of the Body: A Volitional Account. Theory and Decision 20 (3):223-45.
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  16. Antony Hatzistavrou (2012). Motivation, Reconsideration and Exclusionary Reasons. Ratio Juris 25 (3):318-342.
    What do exclusionary reasons exclude? This is the main issue I address in this article. Raz appears to endorse what I label the “motivational” model of exclusionary reasons. He stresses that within the context of his theory of practical reasoning, exclusionary reasons are reasons not to be motivated by certain first-order reasons (namely, the first-order reasons which conflict with the first-order reasons that the exclusionary reasons protect). Some of his critics take him to be committed to another model of exclusionary (...)
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  17. Edward Hinchman (2013). Rational Requirements and 'Rational' Akrasia. Philosophical Studies 166 (3):529-552.
    On one conception of practical rationality, being rational is most fundamentally a matter of avoiding incoherent combinations of attitudes. This conception construes the norms of rationality as codified by rational requirements, and one plausible rational requirement is that you not be akratic: that you not judge, all things considered, that you ought to ϕ while failing to choose or intend to ϕ. On another conception of practical rationality, being rational is most fundamentally a matter of thinking or acting in a (...)
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  18. Paul Katsafanas (2014). Nietzsche and Kant on the Will: Two Models of Reflective Agency. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):185-216.
    Kant and Nietzsche are typically thought to have diametrically opposed accounts of willing: put simply, whereas Kant gives signal importance to reflective episodes of choice, Nietzsche seems to deny that reflective choices have any significant role in the etiology of human action. In this essay, I argue that the dispute between Kant and Nietzsche actually takes a far more interesting form. Nietzsche is not merely rejecting the Kantian picture of agency. Rather, Nietzsche is offering a subtle critique of the Kantian (...)
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  19. Paul Katsafanas (2011). The Concept of Unified Agency in Nietzsche, Plato, and Schiller. Journal of the History of Philosophy 49 (1):87-113.
    This paper examines Nietzsche’s concept of unified agency. A widespread consensus has emerged in the secondary literature on three points: (1) Nietzsche’s notion of unity is meant to be an analysis of freedom; (2) unity refers to a relation between the agent’s drives or motivational states; and (3) unity obtains when one drive predominates and imposes order on the other drives. I argue that these claims are philosophically and textually indefensible. In contrast, I argue that (1′) Nietzschean unity is an (...)
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  20. Hugh McCann (1995). Intention and Motivational Strength. Journal of Philosophical Research 20:571-583.
    One of the principal preoccupations of action theory is with the role of intention in the production of action. It should be expected that this role would be important, since an item of behavior appears to count as action just when there is some respect in which it is intended by the agent. This being the case, an account of the function of intention should provide insight into how human action might differ from other sorts of events, what the foundations (...)
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  21. A. I. Melden (1960). Willing. Philosophical Review 69 (4):475-484.
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  22. Alfred R. Mele (1997). Strength of Motivation and Being in Control - Learning From Libet. American Philosophical Quarterly 34 (3):319-32.
  23. Alfred R. Mele (1991). Motivational Ties. Journal of Philosophical Research 16:431-442.
    Must a rational ass equidistant from two equally attractive bales of hay starve for lack of a reason to prefer one bale to the other? Must a human being faced with a comparable, explicitly motivational, tie fail to pursue either option? Surely, one suspects, some practical resolution is possible. Surely, ties of either sort need not result in death or paralysis. But why? Donald Davidson has suggested that, in the human case, resolution depends upon the tie’s being broken---upon the agent’s (...)
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  24. Matthias Perkams (2012). Bernhard von Clairvaux, Robert von Melun und die Anfange des mittelalterlichen Voluntarismus. Vivarium 50 (1):1-32.
    Abstract Two distinguishing marks of voluntaristic conceptions of human action can be found already in the 12th century, not only in the work of Bonaventura's successors: 1. the will is free to act against reasons's dictates; 2. moral responsibility depends on this conception of the will's freedom. A number of theologians from the 1130s to the 1170s accepted those claims, which have been originally formulated by Bernard of Clairvaux. Robert of Melun elaborated them in a systematical way and coined the (...)
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  25. Regan Lance Reitsma (2000). The Humean Theory of Practical Rationality and Rationally Impotent Desire. Southwest Philosophy Review 17 (1):207-214.
  26. Teresa Santiago & Carmen Trueba (eds.) (2006). De Acciones, Deseos y Razón Práctica. Casa Juan Pablos, Universidad Autonóma Metropolitana, Unidad Iztapalapa.
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  27. Henrique Schneider (2008). No Problem with Weakness of the Will. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 33:53-58.
    Weakness of the Will can impose a problem for most theories of rationality, since they try to assess rationality in the framework of one theory. Here, Akrasia is divides in three different types and each analyzed separately. First, someone changes her mind on her action. Second, someone “forced” to change her action without changing her mind. This force is alien to the will and can be a psychological cause. Finally, third, the same alien force is working upon the agent, but (...)
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  28. Timothy Schroeder (2006). Desire. Philosophy Compass 1 (6):631–639.
    Desires move us to action, give us urges, incline us to joy at their satisfaction, and incline us to sorrow at their frustration. Naturalistic work on desire has focused on distinguishing which of these phenomena are part of the nature of desire, and which are merely normal consequences of desiring. Three main answers have been proposed. The first holds that the central necessary fact about desires is that they lead to action. The second makes pleasure the essence of desire. And (...)
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  29. Sydney Shoemaker (1998). Desiring at Will (and at Pill): A Reply to Millgram. In C. Fehige & U. Wessels (eds.), Preferences. De Gruyer.
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  30. Sydney Shoemaker (1998). Desiring at Will (and at Pill): A Reply to Millgram. In C. Fehige & U. Wessels (eds.), Preferences. De Gruyer.
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  31. Winnie Sung (2012). Yu in the Xunzi: Can Desire by Itself Motivate Action? Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 11 (3):369-388.
  32. David Svolba (2011). Swindell, Frankfurt, and Ambivalence. Philosophical Explorations 14 (2):219 - 225.
    J.S. Swindell has argued that Harry Frankfurt's analysis of ambivalence is ambiguous and that it fails to do justice to the full range of this psychological phenomenon. Building on her criticism of Frankfurt, Swindell offers an analysis of ambivalence which is supposed to clarify ambiguities in Frankfurt's analysis and reveal varieties of ambivalence that Frankfurt's analysis allegedly overlooks. In this brief reply, I argue that Frankfurt's analysis of ambivalence is neither ambiguous nor objectionably narrow. I conclude with remarks on Swindell's (...)
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  33. Palmer Talbutt (1983). Motives, Reasons, and Culturation. Philosophy Research Archives 9:245-264.
    The essay aims to sum up distinctions and relations between motives, purposes, and reasons, to ground a socio-cultural account of action. The method is selective critique of recent analyses and arguments.Motives are causal, but reasons are not. The construal of motives and purposes should be broader than usual. Purpose is that for the sake of which something is done, motive correlating to it as attitude to object; actions may count as intrinsic goods when done for their own sake; lastly, all (...)
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  34. Christine Tappolet (2009). Desires and Practical Judgments in Action: Sergio Tenenbaum's Scholastic View. Dialogue 48 (02):395-.
    In his book Appearances of the Good, Sergio Tenenbaum has offered an impressive new defence of a classical account of practical reason, which marks him as heir to a philosophical tradition going back to Aristotle and Kant or, more recently, to Anscombe and Davidson. This account has come under heavy attack in the past twenty years, and it would be no exaggeration to say that it is now a minority view. This is at least so if one counts the number (...)
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  35. Theresa Weynand Tobin (2009). Taming Augustine's Monstrosity. Journal of Philosophical Research 34:345-363.
    In Book VI of his Confessions, Saint Augustine offers a detailed description of one of the most famous cases of weakness of will in the history of philosophy. Augustine characterizes his experience as a monstrous situation in which he both wills and does not will moral growth, but he is at odds to explain this phenomenon. In this paper, I argue that Aquinas’s action theory offers important resources for explaining Augustine’s monstrosity. On Aquinas’s schema, human acts are composed of various (...)
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  36. David Wall (2009). Are There Passive Desires? Dialectica 63 (2):133-155.
    What is the relation between desire and action? According to a traditional, widespread and influential view I call 'The Motivational Necessity of Desire' (MN), having a desire that p entails being disposed to act in ways that you believe will bring about p . But what about desires like a desire that the committee chooses you without your needing to do anything, or a desire that your child passes her exams on her own? Such 'self-passive' desires are often given as (...)
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  37. Patrick Yarnell (2002). Humean Instrumentalism and the Motivational Capacity of Reason. Journal of Philosophical Research 27:499-509.
    Humean instrumentalism is the view that all of one’s reasons for action are ultimately grounded in one’s antecedent desires, whatever those happen to be. According to this view, what determines which actions are rational is ultimately what the agent wants or desires, while the role of rational deliberation is to inform the agent about how to best gratify these desires. In this paper I aim to weaken commitment to Humean instrumentalism by showing that (a) the main supporting argument for HI (...)
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Compulsion and Addiction
  1. Serge H. Ahmed (2008). The Origin of Addictions by Means of Unnatural Decision. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (4):437-438.
    The unified framework for addiction (UFA) formulated by Redish et al. is a tour de force. It uniquely predicts that there should be multiple addiction syndromes and pathways – a diversity that would reflect the complexity of the mammalian brain decision system. Here I explore some of the evolutionary and developmental ramifications of UFA and derive several new avenues for research.
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  2. George Ainslie (2013). Grasping the Impalpable: The Role of Endogenous Reward in Choices, Including Process Addictions. Inquiry 56 (5):446 - 469.
    ABSTRACT The list of proposed addictions has recently grown to include television, videogames, shopping, day trading, kleptomania, and use of the Internet. These activities share with a more established entry, gambling, the property that they require no delivery of a biological stimulus that might be thought to unlock a hardwired brain process. I propose a framework for analyzing that class of incentives that do not depend on the prediction of physically privileged environmental events: people have a great capacity to coin (...)
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  3. George Ainslie (2008). Vulnerabilities to Addiction Must Have Their Impact Through the Common Currency of Discounted Reward. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (4):438-439.
    The ten vulnerabilities discussed in the target article vary in their likelihood of producing temporary preference for addictive activities automatic” habits discussed here.
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  4. George Ainslie (2001). Breakdown of Will. Cambridge University Press.
    Ainslie argues that our responses to the threat of our own inconsistency determine the basic fabric of human culture. He suggests that individuals are more like populations of bargaining agents than like the hierarchical command structures envisaged by cognitive psychologists. The forces that create and constrain these populations help us understand so much that is puzzling in human action and interaction: from addictions and other self-defeating behaviors to the experience of willfulness, from pathological over-control and self-deception to subtler forms of (...)
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  5. Chrisoula Andreou (2008). Addiction, Procrastination, and Failure Points in Decision-Making Systems. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (4):439-440.
    Redish et al. suggest that their failures-in-decision-making framework for understanding addiction can also contribute to improving our understanding of a variety of psychiatric disorders. In the spirit of reflecting on the significance and scope of their research, I briefly develop the idea that their framework can also contribute to improving our understanding of the pervasive problem of procrastination.
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  6. Chrisoula Andreou (2008). Making a Clean Break: Addiction and Ulysses Contracts. Bioethics 22 (1):25–31.
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  7. Robert Archibald (2000). Jon Elster and Ole‐Jorgen Skog, Getting Hooked: Rationality and Addiction:Getting Hooked: Rationality and Addiction. Ethics 110 (3):609-612.
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  8. Giorgio A. Ascoli & Kevin A. McCabe (2006). Scarcity Begets Addiction. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (2):178-178.
    As prototypical incentive with biological meaning, food illustrates the distinction between money as tool and money as drug. However, consistent neuroscience results challenge this view of food as intrinsic value and opposite to drugs of abuse. The scarce availability over evolutionary time of both food and money may explain their similar drug-like non-satiability, suggesting an integrated mechanism for generalized reinforcers. (Published Online April 5 2006).
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  9. Robert N. Audi (1974). Moral Responsibility, Freedom, and Compulsion. American Philosophical Quarterly 11 (January):1-14.
    This paper sets out and defends an account of free action and explores the relation between free action and moral responsibility. Free action is analyzed as a certain kind of uncompelled action. The notion of compulsion is explicated in detail, And several forms of compulsion are distinguished and compared. It is argued that contrary to what is usually supposed, A person may be morally responsible for doing something even if he did not do it freely. On the basis of the (...)
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  10. Antoine Bechara, Xavier Noel & Eveline A. Crone (2006). Loss of Willpower: Abnormal Neural Mechanisms of Impulse Control and Decision Making in Addiction. In Reinout W. Wiers & Alan W. Stacy (eds.), Handbook of Implicit Cognition and Addiction. Sage Publications Ltd. 215--232.
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  11. James Beebe (2013). Weakness of Will, Reasonability, and Compulsion. Synthese 190 (18):4077-4093.
    Experimental philosophers have recently begun to investigate the folk conception of weakness of will (e.g., Mele in Philos Stud 150:391–404, 2010; May and Holton in Philos Stud 157:341–360, 2012; Beebe forthcoming; Sousa and Mauro forthcoming). Their work has focused primarily on the ways in which akrasia (i.e., acting contrary to one’s better judgment), unreasonable violations of resolutions, and variations in the moral valence of actions modulate folk attributions of weakness of will. A key finding that has emerged from this research (...)
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  12. Stephanie Bell, Adrian Carter, Rebecca Mathews, Coral Gartner, Jayne Lucke & Wayne Hall (2014). Views of Addiction Neuroscientists and Clinicians on the Clinical Impact of a 'Brain Disease Model of Addiction'. Neuroethics 7 (1):19-27.
    Addiction is increasingly described as a “chronic and relapsing brain disease”. The potential impact of the brain disease model on the treatment of addiction or addicted individuals’ treatment behaviour remains uncertain. We conducted a qualitative study to examine: (i) the extent to which leading Australian addiction neuroscientists and clinicians accept the brain disease view of addiction; and (ii) their views on the likely impacts of this view on addicted individuals’ beliefs and behaviour. Thirty-one Australian addiction neuroscientists and clinicians (10 females (...)
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  13. Piers Benn (2007). Disease, Addiction and the Freedom to Resist. Philosophical Papers 36 (3):465-481.
    ‘Twelve Step' recovery programmes such as Alcoholics Anonymous teach that an alcoholic, or other addict, has a disease, and needs to accept that she is ‘powerless' over her addiction before recovery can begin. However, the disease model of addiction has been criticised on the grounds that some addicts recover without external intervention. This critique is questionable, not because such recovery does not occur, but because many genuine diseases are self-limiting. However, the disease model is better criticised on other grounds. Central (...)
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