David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Psychology 21 (1):69 – 90 (2008)
What is self-control and how does the concept of self-control relate to the notion of will-power? A widespread philosophical opinion has been that the notion of will-power does not add anything beyond what can be said using other motivational notions, such as strength of desire and intention. One exception is Richard Holton who, inspired by recent research in social psychology, has argued that will-power is a separate faculty needed for persisting in one's resolutions, what he calls 'strength of will'. However, he distinguishes strength of will from self-control. In this paper I argue that will-power is essential also to a certain form of self-control. I support this claim by arguments showing that the traditional philosophical accounts of self-control run into difficulties because they pay insufficient attention to will-power as an independent source of motivation.
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Michael Bratman (1987/1999). Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason. Center for the Study of Language and Information.
Jon Elster (1984). Ulysses and the Sirens: Studies in Rationality and Irrationality. Editions De La Maison des Sciences De L'Homme.
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Daniel Kahneman (1973). Attention and Effort. Prentice Hall.
Jeanette Kennett (2001). Agency and Responsibility: A Common-Sense Moral Psychology. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Simon Boag (2011). Explanation in Personality Psychology: “Verbal Magic” and the Five-Factor Model. Philosophical Psychology 24 (2):223-243.
Richard L. Lippke (2011). Social Deprivation as Tempting Fate. Criminal Law and Philosophy 5 (3):277-291.
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