Akrasia, self-control, and second-order desires

Noûs 26 (3):281-302 (1992)
Pristine belief/desire psychology has its limitations. Recognizing this, some have attempted to fill various gaps by adding more of the same, but at higher levels. Thus, for example, second-order desires have been imported into a more stream- lined view to explicate such important notions as freedom of the will, personhood, and valuing. I believe that we need to branch out as well as up, augmenting a familiar 'philosophical psychology' with psychological items that are irreducible to beliefs and desires (for support, see Mele 1987 and 1992). That theme will be left largely in the background here, however. The issue to be explored is a narrower one: the place of higher-order desires in a proper conception of continent and incontinent behavior. My guiding question is whether an action's counting as continent or incontinent depends upon the agent's having at the time a pertinent higher-order desire. The answer that I shall defend is, in a word, 'No.'.
Keywords akrasia
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,357
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Alfred Mele (2010). Weakness of Will and Akrasia. Philosophical Studies 150 (3):391–404.
    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    81 ( #13,096 of 1,088,404 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    2 ( #42,750 of 1,088,404 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.