David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Inquiry 23 (2):193 – 212 (1980)
As Elster suggests in his chapter 'Contradictions of the Mind', in Logic and Society, akrasia and self-deception represent the most common psychological functions for a person in conflict and contradiction. This article develops the theme of akrasia and conflict. Section I says what akrasia is not. Section II describes the character of the akrates, analyzing the sorts of conflicts to which he is subject and describing the sources of his debilities. A brief account is then given of the attractions of the akratic alternative: its power to focus or dominate the agent's attention; its being strongly habitual; its having the pull of social streaming: following the charismatic leader, the mechanisms of sympathetic or antipathetic infection, the models of role casting. Following these strategies is by no means pathological: these are relatively automatic (though still voluntary) psychological functions. That is precisely their power and attraction: they provide the conflicted akrates with an action solution, though not one that accords with his preferred judgment.
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References found in this work BETA
Harry G. Frankfurt (1971). Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person. Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Donald Davidson (1970). How Is Weakness of the Will Possible? In Joel Feinberg (ed.), Moral Concepts. Oxford University Press
Michael Walzer (1973). Political Action: The Problem of Dirty Hands. Philosophy and Public Affairs 2 (2):160-180.
Marshall Cohen (ed.) (1974). War and Moral Responsibility: A "Philosophy and Public Affairs" Reader. Princeton University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Edmund Henden (2008). What is Self-Control? Philosophical Psychology 21 (1):69 – 90.
Edmund Henden (2004). Weakness of Will and Divisions of the Mind. European Journal of Philosophy 12 (2):199–213.
Robert Dunn (1992). Akratic Attitudes and Rationality. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 70 (1):24 – 39.
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