David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 5 (3):255-270 (2002)
The focus of this paper is Aristotle's solution to the problem inherited from Socrates: How could a man fail to restrain himself when he believes that what he desires is wrong? In NE 7 Aristotle attempts to reconcile the Socratic denial of akrasia with the commonly held opinion that people act in ways they know to be bad, even when it is in their power to act otherwise. This project turns out to be largely successful, for what Aristotle shows us is that if we distinguish between two ways of having knowledge (potentially and actually), the Socratic thesis can effectively account for a wide range of cases (collectively referred to here as drunk-akrasia) in which an agent acts contrary to his general knowledge of the Good, yet can still be said to know in the qualified sense that his actions are wrong. However, Book 7 also shows that the Socratic account of akrasia cannot take us any farther than drunk-akrasia, for unlike drunk-akrasia, genuine akrasia cannot be reduced to a failure of knowledge. This agent knows in the unqualified sense that his actions are wrong. The starting-point of my argument is that Aristotle's explanation of genuine akrasia requires a different solution than the one found in NE 7 which relies on the distinction between qualified and unqualified knowing: genuinely akratic behaviour is due to the absence of an internal conflict that a desire for the proper pleasures of temperance would create if he could experience them.
|Keywords||akrasia Aristotle incontinence moral weakness Nicomachean Ethics Protagoras pleasure Socrates virtue weakness of will|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Greg Bassett (2013). Incontinence and Perception. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (5):1019-1028.
John Thorp (2003). Aristotle on Brutishness. Dialogue 42 (04):673-.
Similar books and articles
Byron J. Stoyles (2007). Aristotle, Akrasia, and the Place of Desire in Moral Reasoning. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (2):195 - 207.
Sarah Broadie (1991). Ethics with Aristotle. Oxford University Press.
Rik Peels (2011). Tracing Culpable Ignorance. Logos and Episteme 2 (4):575-582.
Brian Ribeiro (2011). Epistemic Akrasia. International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 1 (1):18-25.
Thomas Giourgas (2008). The Paradox of Refuting Socrates' Paradox. Dissertation, Edinburgh
Christopher Bobonich & Pierre Destrée (eds.) (2007). Akrasia in Greek Philosophy: From Socrates to Plotinus. Brill.
Daniel Guevara (2009). The Will as Practical Reason and the Problem of Akrasia. Review of Metaphysics 62 (3):525-550.
Jessica Moss (2009). Akrasia and Perceptual Illusion. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 91 (2):119-156.
Filip Grgić (2002). Aristotle on the Akratic's Knowledge. Phronesis 47 (4):336 - 358.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads116 ( #14,313 of 1,699,807 )
Recent downloads (6 months)9 ( #69,042 of 1,699,807 )
How can I increase my downloads?