Autonomy and akrasia

Philosophical Explorations 5 (3):207 – 216 (2002)
Strict akratic actions, by definition, are performed freely. However, agents may seem not to be selfgoverned with respect to such actions and therefore not to perform them autonomously. If appearance matches reality here, freedom and autonomy part company in this sphere. Do they? That is this article's guiding question. To make things manageable, it is assumed that there are free actions, including strict akratic actions. Two theses are defended. First, the combination of (i) an intentional action's being uncompelled and (ii) its being - or executing - in appropriate informational circumstances, a sane decision that, as the agent recognizes, is for a course of action that she believes to be inferior to an alternative course of action open to her is sufficient for the action's being freely performed. (Condition (i) provides elbow room allegedly needed for free action, and (ii) encompasses freedom-level psychological sophistication.) Second, the same combination is sufficient for an intentional action's being autonomously performed.
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