David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
This essay applies John Searle’s account of weakness of will to explore the classical Chinese problem of weak-willed action. Searle’s discussion focuses on the shortcomings of the Western classical model of rationality in explaining weakness of will, so he naturally says little about the practical ethical problem of overcoming weak-willed action, the focus of the relevant Chinese texts. Yet his theory of action, specifically his notion of the Background, suggests a compelling approach to the practical issue, one that converges with a plausible account of the classical Chinese conception of agency. On this approach, the practical problem is due to weaknesses of the self in carrying out intentions. The key to overcoming the problem lies not in restructuring the agent’s affective states, as suggested by prominent interpreters of Chinese thought such as David Nivison, but in strengthening the agent’s Background capacities, much as we do when mastering new skills.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Robert Audi (1979). Weakness of Will and Practical Judgment. Noûs 13 (2):173-196.
Michael Bratman (1979). Practical Reasoning and Weakness of the Will. Noûs 13 (2):153-171.
Chris Fraser (2008). Wc-Wtl, the Background, and Intentionality. In Bo Mou (ed.), Searle's Philosophy and Chinese Philosophy: Constructive Engagement. Brill. 27--63.
Edmund Henden (2004). Intentions, All-Out Evaluations and Weakness of the Will. Erkenntnis 61 (1):53-74.
Dylan Dodd (2009). Weakness of Will as Intention-Violation. European Journal of Philosophy 17 (1):45-59.
Daniel Cohen & Toby Handfield (2010). Rational Capacities, Resolve, and Weakness of Will. Mind 119 (476):907 - 932.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads26 ( #65,687 of 1,099,023 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #287,293 of 1,099,023 )
How can I increase my downloads?