The problem of weakness of will

Noûs 23 (5):653-676 (1989)
Abstract
Philosophical discussions of akrasia over the last fifteen years have focused on certain skeptical arguments which purport to question the possibility of a kind of akratic action which, following Pears, I call 'last ditch akrasia' (Pears [38]). An agent, succumbing to last ditch akrasia, freely, knowingly, and intentionally performs an action A against his better judgment that an incompatible action B is the better thing to do. (See Audi [1] for a detailed analysis.) Last ditch akrasia is not the only kind that has been discussed. Some philosophers (Mele [32], Scaltas [48]) have been concerned with a more extreme form of akratic action, viz. one in which the agent not only judges that action B is best, but in addition intends (chooses, decides) to B. Some have even questioned whether freely acting against one's better judgment is sufficient for akratic action (Schiffer [49]: 201-3).1 Weaker types of akratic action have been discussed, though to a much lesser extent, since they are thought less problematic. Pears distinguishes last ditch akrasia from what he calls, "motivated irrational action" ([38]: 160). In cases of the latter, the akrates' rebellious desire infects his prior reasoning and thinking in such a way that his contemplated action seems to him warranted, and he acts accordingly. (For a taxonomy of cases of akratic action, see Rorty ([44])). Nor has the discussion of akrasia been restricted to akratic action. Philosophers have discussed whether akrasia can be exhibited in the formation of intentions, wants (See Audi [1]: 181-185), and beliefs (Mele [32]: ch. 8; Heil [19]). The primary focus in this paper is on last ditch akratic action.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 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: 11,085
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
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
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

54 ( #29,421 of 1,101,623 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #81,941 of 1,101,623 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


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