Review of Richard Holton's Willing, Wanting, Waiting [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Metapsychology 13 (23) (2009)
In an all too familiar part of our lives, we are sometimes strongly tempted to do things we think we shouldn’t do. Consider the burning desire to eat one of the donuts your coworker brought to work while you are on a diet. Often times we surrender to temptation. But sometimes we fight the urges and refrain—we exhibit will-power. Much of our ordinary thinking involves reference to “the will” in this sort of way. Yet for quite some time many contemporary philosophers have avoided talk of the will in their accounts of human action. This is largely because the will was thought to be a mysterious and superfluous thing—a ghostly cog in psychological theory that serves no explanatory purpose. However, there is a growing trend in philosophy that is bringing back talk of the will. Willing, Wanting, Waiting is, refreshingly, part of that trend. Holton develops a unique account of the will and related phenomena that is both empirically informed and philosophically rigorous in a way that is accessible to an interdisciplinary audience.
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