Irresistible desires

Noûs 24 (3):455-72 (1990)
The topic of irresistible desires arises with unsurprising frequency in discussions of free agency and moral responsibility. Actions motivated by such desires are standardly viewed as compelled, and hence unfree. Agents in the grip of irresistible desires are often plausibly exempted from moral blame for intentional deeds in which the desires issue. Yet, relatively little attention has been given to the analysis of irresistible desire. Moreover, a popular analysis is fatally flawed. My aim in this paper is to construct and defend a new analysis of irresistible desire. Although, to render the discussion manageable, I shall keep the issues of freedom and responsibility to one side, readers will see them in the background at every major turn.
Keywords Desire  Freedom  Metaphysics  Resistance  Responsibility
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DOI 10.2307/2215775
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Gideon Yaffe (2001). Recent Work on Addiction and Responsible Agency. Philosophy and Public Affairs 30 (2):178–221.
Hanna Pickard (2015). Psychopathology and the Ability to Do Otherwise. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (1):135-163.
Edmund Henden (2012). Addictive Actions. Philosophical Psychology 26 (3):362-382.

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