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How Is Weakness of the Will Possible?

In Joel Feinberg (ed.), Moral Concepts. Oxford University Press (1969)

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  1. The Nature of Desire.Federico Lauria & Julien A. Deonna (eds.) - 2017 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Desires matter. What are desires? Many believe that desire is a motivational state: desiring is being disposed to act. This conception aligns with the functionalist approach to desire and the standard account of desire's role in explaining action. According to a second influential approach, however, desire is first and foremost an evaluation: desiring is representing something as good. After all, we seem to desire things under the guise of the good. Which understanding of desire is more accurate? Is the guise (...)
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  • The Fundamental Principle of Practical Reasoning.Ralph Wedgwood - 1998 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 6 (2):189 – 209.
    The fundamental principle of practical reasoning (if there is such a thing) must be a rule which we ought to follow in all our practical reasoning, and which cannot lead to irrational decisions. It must be a rule that it is possible for us to follow directly - that is, without having to follow any other rule of practical reasoning in order to do so. And it must be a basic principle, in the sense that the explanation of why we (...)
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  • Felt Moral Obligation and the Moral Judgement–Moral Action Gap: Toward a Phenomenology of Moral Life.Richard N. Williams & Edwin E. Gantt - 2012 - Journal of Moral Education 41 (4):417-435.
    The step-off point for this article is the problem of the ?moral judgement?moral action gap? as found in contemporary literature of moral education and moral development. We argue that this gap, and the conceptual problems encountered by attempts to bridge it, reflects the effect of a different, deeper and more problematic conceptual gap: the ?ontological? gap between meaningful moral events and the underlying natural structures or mechanical processes presumed to produce them. We contend that the very real fact that moral (...)
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  • Agency, Desire, and Changing Organizational Routines.Caleb Bernacchio - 2018 - Philosophy of Management 17 (3):279-301.
    Feldman : 611–629, 2000) describes the striving mechanism as a mode of routine change driven by successful organizational routines. Striving describes a process by which organization members gain a better understanding of the ideals undergirding their actions. In turn, this insight drives changes within routines. In this paper, I argue that the rational actor model, especially as articulated in Donald Davidson’s theory of action, is unable to account for the striving mechanism of endogenous routine change identified by Feldman : 611–629, (...)
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  • Is Grit Irrational for Akratic Agents?Lubomira V. Radoilska - forthcoming - In N. H. Evans & P. Mckearney (eds.), Against Better Judgment: Akrasia in Anthropological Perspective.
    Contemporary analytic philosophers tend to see akrasia, or acting against one’s better judgement, as a problem of motivation. On this standard view, akratic actions are paradoxical since akratic agents know that they have a better alternative but nevertheless take up the worse, akratic option. In other words, akratic agents know what they are doing. They do not make any epistemic mistakes but – inexplicably – engage in behaviours that they correctly identify as wrong. The thought that akratic agents are not (...)
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  • Rationality and the Structure of the Self, Volume I: The Humean Conception.Adrian M. S. Piper - 2008 - APRA Foundation Berlin.
    The Humean conception of the self consists in the belief-desire model of motivation and the utility-maximizing model of rationality. This conception has dominated Western thought in philosophy and the social sciences ever since Hobbes’ initial formulation in Leviathan and Hume’s elaboration in the Treatise of Human Nature. Bentham, Freud, Ramsey, Skinner, Allais, von Neumann and Morgenstern and others have added further refinements that have brought it to a high degree of formal sophistication. Late twentieth century moral philosophers such as Rawls, (...)
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  • Guise of the Good.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2013 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • The Normativity of Rationality.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Kiesewetter defends the normativity of rationality by presenting a new solution to the problems that arise from the common assumption that we ought to be rational. He provides a defence of a reason-response conception of rationality, an evidence-relative account of reason, and an explanation of structural irrationality in relation to these accounts.
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  • Rational Animals: What the Bravest Lion Won't Risk.Ronald de Sousa - 2004 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 4 (12):365-386.
    I begin with a rather unpromising dispute that Nozick once had with Ian Hacking in the pages of the London Review of Books, in which both vied with one another in their enthusiasm to repudiate the thesis that some human people or peoples are closer than others to animality. I shall attempt to show that one can build, on the basis of Nozick’s discussion of rationality, a defense of the view that the capacity tor language places human rationality out of (...)
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  • Rationality is Not Coherence.Nora Heinzelmann - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    According to a popular account, rationality is a kind of coherence of an agent’s mental states and, more specifically, a matter of fulfilling norms of coherence. For example, in order to be rational an agent is required to intend to do what they judge they ought to and can do. This norm has been called ‘Enkrasia’. Another norm requires that, ceteris paribus, an agent retain their intention over time. This has been called ‘Persistence of Intention’. This paper argues that thus (...)
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  • Weakness of Will.Sarah Stroud - 2008 - In Edward Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
     
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  • Intention.Kieran Setiya - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Philosophical perplexity about intention begins with its appearance in three guises: intention for the future, as when I intend to complete this entry by the end of the month; the intention with which someone acts, as I am typing with the further intention of writing an introductory sentence; and intentional action, as in the fact that I am typing these words intentionally. As Elizabeth Anscombe wrote in a similar context, ‘it is implausible to say that the word is equivocal as (...)
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  • Agency.Markus E. Schlosser - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    In very general terms, an agent is a being with the capacity to act, and 'agency' denotes the exercise or manifestation of this capacity. The philosophy of action provides us with a standard conception and a standard theory of action. The former construes action in terms of intentionality, the latter explains the intentionality of action in terms of causation by the agent’s mental states and events. From this, we obtain a standard conception and a standard theory of agency. There are (...)
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  • Logic, Reasoning, and Rationality.Erik Weber, Joke Meheus & Dietlinde Wouters (eds.) - 2014 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
    This book contains a selection of the papers presented at the Logic, Reasoning and Rationality 2010 conference in Ghent. The conference aimed at stimulating the use of formal frameworks to explicate concrete cases of human reasoning, and conversely, to challenge scholars in formal studies by presenting them with interesting new cases of actual reasoning. According to the members of the Wiener Kreis, there was a strong connection between logic, reasoning, and rationality and that human reasoning is rational in so far (...)
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  • The Eclipse of Value-Free Economics. The Concept of Multiple Self Versus Homo Economicus.Aleksander Ostapiuk - 2020 - Wrocław, Polska: Publishing House of Wroclaw University of Economics and Business.
    The books’ goal is to answer the question: Do the weaknesses of value-free economics imply the need for a paradigm shift? The author synthesizes criticisms from different perspectives (descriptive and methodological). Special attention is paid to choices over time, because in this area value-free economics has the most problems. In that context, the enriched concept of multiple self is proposed and investigated. However, it is not enough to present the criticisms towards value-free economics. For scientists, a bad paradigm is better (...)
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  • Reasoning Under Scarcity.Jennifer M. Morton - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (3):543-559.
    Practical deliberation consists in thinking about what to do. Such deliberation is deemed rational when it conforms to certain normative requirements. What is often ignored is the role that an agent's context can play in so-called ‘failures’ of rationality. In this paper, I use recent cognitive science research investigating the effects of resource-scarcity on decision-making and cognitive function to argue that context plays an important role in determining which norms should structure an agent's deliberation. This evidence undermines the view that (...)
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  • Understanding Delusions: Evidence, Reason, and Experience.Chenwei Nie - 2021 - Dissertation, University of Warwick
    This thesis develops a novel framework for explaining delusions. In Chapter 1, I introduce the two fundamental challenges posed by delusions: the evidence challenge lies in explaining the flagrant ways delusions flout evidence; and the specificity challenge lies in explaining the fact that patients’ delusions are often about a few specific themes, and patients rarely have a wide range of delusional or odd beliefs. In Chapter 2, I discuss the strengths and weaknesses of current theories of delusions, which typically appeal (...)
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  • Buddhist Perspectives on Free Will: Agentless Agency?Rick Repetti (ed.) - 2016 - London, UK: Routledge / Francis & Taylor.
    A collection of essays, mostly original, on the actual and possible positions on free will available to Buddhist philosophers, by Christopher Gowans, Rick Repetti, Jay Garfield, Owen Flanagan, Charles Goodman, Galen Strawson, Susan Blackmore, Martin T. Adam, Christian Coseru, Marie Friquegnon, Mark Siderits, Ben Abelson, B. Alan Wallace, Peter Harvey, Emily McRae, and Karin Meyers, and a Foreword by Daniel Cozort.
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  • Actual Control - Demodalising Free Will.David Heering - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Leeds
    Plausibly, agents act freely iff their actions are responses to reasons. But what sort of relationship between reason and action is required for the action to count as a response? The overwhelmingly dominant answer to this question is modalist. It holds that responses are actions that share a modally robust or secure relationship with the relevant reasons. This thesis offers a new alternative answer. It argues that responses are actions that can be explained by reasons in the right way. This (...)
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  • A Disjunctive Account of Desire.Kael McCormack - 2022 - Dissertation, University of New South Wales
    This thesis motivates a novel account of desire as the best explanation of an intuitive datum. The intuitive datum is that often when an agent desires P she will immediately, outright know that she has a reason to bring P about. Existing explanations of the intuitive datum cannot simultaneously satisfy two desiderata. We want to explain how desires enable outright knowledge of reasons and also explain the fallibility of desires. Existing views satisfy the first desideratum at the expense of the (...)
     
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  • Moral Appraisal for Everyone: Neurodiversity, Epistemic Limitations, and Responding to the Right Reasons.Claire Field - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (3):733-752.
    De Re Significance accounts of moral appraisal consider an agent’s responsiveness to a particular kind of reason, normative moral reasons de re, to be of central significance for moral appraisal. Here, I argue that such accounts find it difficult to accommodate some neuroatypical agents. I offer an alternative account of how an agent’s responsiveness to normative moral reasons affects moral appraisal – the Reasonable Expectations Account. According to this account, what is significant for appraisal is not the content of the (...)
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  • The Guise of the Guise of the Bad.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (1):5-20.
    It is undeniable that human agents sometimes act badly, and it seems that they sometimes pursue bad things simply because they are bad. This latter phenomenon has often been taken to provide counterexamples to views according to which we always act under the guise of the good. This paper identifies several distinct arguments in favour of the possibility that one can act under the guise of the bad. GG seems to face more serious difficulties when trying to answer three different, (...)
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  • Aiming at the Good.Amir Saemi - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (2):197-219.
    This paper shows how we can plausibly extend the guise of the good thesis in a way that avoids intellectualist challenge, allows animals to be included, and is consistent with the possibility of performing action under the cognition of their badness. The paper also presents some independent arguments for the plausibility of this interpretation of the thesis. To this aim, a teleological conception of practical attitudes as well as a cognitivist account of arational desires is offered.
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  • Might Desires Be Beliefs About Normative Reasons?Alex Gregory - 2017 - In Julien Deonna & Federico Lauria (eds.), The Nature of Desire. Oxford University Press. pp. 201-217.
    This paper examines the view that desires are beliefs about normative reasons for action. It describes the view, and briefly sketches three arguments for it. But the focus of the paper is defending the view from objections. The paper argues that the view is consistent with the distinction between the direction of fit of beliefs and desires, that it is consistent with the existence of appetites such as hunger, that it can account for counterexamples that aim to show that beliefs (...)
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  • The Guise of Reasons.Alex Gregory - 2013 - American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (1):63-72.
    In this paper it is argued that we should amend the traditional understanding of the view known as the guise of the good. The guise of the good is traditionally understood as the view that we only want to act in ways that we believe to be good in some way. But it is argued that a more plausible view is that we only want to act in ways that we believe we have normative reason to act in. This change (...)
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  • Intelligibility and the Guise of the Good.Paul Boswell - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 13 (1):1-31.
    According to the Guise of the Good, an agent only does for a reason what she sees as good. One of the main motivations for the view is its apparent ability to explain why action for a reason must be intelligible to its agent, for on this view, an action is intelligible just in case it seems good. This motivation has come under criticism in recent years. Most notably, Kieran Setiya has argued that merely seeing one’s action as good does (...)
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  • Akrasia and Self-Control.David Wall - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (1):69 – 78.
    According to Gary Watson (1977), if we choose not to implement a judgment about what it is best to do then we must have changed that judgment. On those grounds he rejects an otherwise plausible account of akrasia, or weakness of will, that explains it in terms of the relative strengths of the agent's desires to act against and in accordance with their evaluative judgment. However, Watson seems to assume what I call a 'principle of closure of evaluation', a principle (...)
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  • Supererogation and the Case Against an 'Overall Ought'.Elizabeth Ventham - 2020 - American Philosophical Quarterly 57 (2):181-192.
    This paper argues against a kind of 'overall ought'. The main argument is a version of the paradox of supererogation. The problem is this: obligating an agent to do what’s overall best will, when that differs from what’s morally best, obligate the agent not to do what’s morally best. This, the paper will argue, is implausible. For each of four possible interpretations of this overall ought concept, it will either come across a form of this paradox or no longer look (...)
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  • Meaning, Evidence, and Objectivity.Olivia Sultanescu - 2021 - In Syraya Chin-Mu Yang & Robert H. Myers (eds.), Donald Davidson on Action, Mind and Value. pp. 171-184.
    This chapter addresses the question of what, according to the conception of meaning offered by Donald Davidson, makes expressions meaningful. It addresses this question by reflecting on Kathrin Glüer’s recent response to it. It argues that Glüer misconstrues both the evidence for meaning that the radical interpreter must rely on and the way in which the principle of charity must be deployed. The articulation of the correct construal of the evidence and the principle reveals the thoroughly non-reductionist aspect of Davidson’s (...)
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  • A Realistic Practical Conclusion.Patricio A. Fernandez - 2015 - American Philosophical Quarterly 52 (2):115-128.
    At least for those who uphold the rationality of morality, ethics and practical reason are not two distinct topics: an ethically sound agent is one whose practical reason functions as it should. Take, for instance, the greatest historical figures. Aristotle claimed that no virtue of character can exist without practical wisdom—the excellence of practical, deliberative reason. And Kant thought that the categorical imperative, the ultimate moral principle that governs a good will, was at the same time the fundamental principlof practical (...)
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  • Guard Against Temptation: Intrapersonal Team Reasoning and the Role of Intentions in Exercising Willpower.Natalie Gold - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Sometimes we make a decision about an action we will undertake later and form an intention, but our judgment of what it is best to do undergoes a temporary shift when the time for action comes round. What makes it rational not to give in to temptation? Many contemporary solutions privilege diachronic rationality; in some “rational non-reconsideration” (RNR) accounts once the agent forms an intention, it is rational not to reconsider. This leads to other puzzles: how can someone be motivated (...)
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  • Should My Robot Know What's Best for Me? Human–Robot Interaction Between User Experience and Ethical Design.Nora Fronemann, Kathrin Pollmann & Wulf Loh - 2022 - AI and Society 37 (2):517-533.
    To integrate social robots in real-life contexts, it is crucial that they are accepted by the users. Acceptance is not only related to the functionality of the robot but also strongly depends on how the user experiences the interaction. Established design principles from usability and user experience research can be applied to the realm of human–robot interaction, to design robot behavior for the comfort and well-being of the user. Focusing the design on these aspects alone, however, comes with certain ethical (...)
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  • The Impossibility of Psycho-Physical Laws.David Brooks - 1980 - Philosophical Papers 9 (October):21-45.
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  • Promising Ourselves, Promising Others.Jorah Dannenberg - 2015 - The Journal of Ethics 19 (2):159-183.
    Promising ourselves is familiar, yet some find it philosophically troubling. Though most of us take the promises we make ourselves seriously, it can seem mysterious how a promise made only to oneself could genuinely bind. Moreover, the desire to be bound by a promise to oneself may seem to expose an unflattering lack of trust in oneself. In this paper I aim to vindicate self-promising from these broadly skeptical concerns. Borrowing Nietzsche’s idea of a memory of the will, I suggest (...)
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  • The Possibility of Practical Reason.J. David Velleman - 1996 - Ethics 106 (4):694-726.
  • Epistemic Akrasia, Higher-Order Evidence, and Charitable Belief Attribution.Hamid Vahid - 2015 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 5 (4):296-314.
    _ Source: _Page Count 19 Epistemic akrasia refers to the possibility of forming an attitude that fails to conform to one’s best judgment. In this paper, I will be concerned with the question whether epistemic akrasia is rational and I will argue that it is not. Addressing this question, in turn, raises the question of the epistemic significance of higher-order evidence. After examining some of the views on this subject, I will present an argument to show why higher-order evidence is (...)
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  • Spinoza on the Problem of Akrasia.Eugene Marshall - 2010 - European Journal of Philosophy 18 (1):41-59.
    : Two common ways of explaining akrasia will be presented, one which focuses on strength of desire and the other which focuses on action issuing from practical judgment. Though each is intuitive in a certain way, they both fail as explanations of the most interesting cases of akrasia. Spinoza 's own thoughts on bondage and the affects follow, from which a Spinozist explanation of akrasia is constructed. This account is based in Spinoza 's mechanistic psychology of cognitive affects. Because Spinoza (...)
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  • Principles of the Unification of Our Agency.Klas Roth - 2011 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 43 (3):283-297.
    Do we need principles of the unification of our agency, our mode of acting? Immanuel Kant and Christine Korsgaard argue that the reflective structure of our mind forces us to have some conception of ourselves, others and the world—including our agency—and that it is through will and reason, and in particular principles of our agency, that we take upon ourselves to unify and test the way(s) in which we make our lives consistent. I argue that the principles suggested—the hypothetical imperative (...)
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  • Donald Davidson.Ernest Lepore & Kirk Ludwig - 2004 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 28 (1):309–333.
    This chapter reviews the major contributions of Donald Davidson to philosophy in the 20th century.
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  • Attributivism.Casey Sean Elliott - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Birmingham
    This is a thesis in three parts. It concerns the normative capacity of attributive goodness. Specifically, it critically evaluates Attributivism, the theory that attributive goodness is fundamentally normative, or that the distribution of that property determines when, whether, and in what way agents ought to act. The first third develops, refines and defends Attributivism. Doing so is, in part, a ground-clearing exercise. I distil that theory from the arguments of many other philosophers. In doing so I isolate and precisify its (...)
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  • Weakness of Will as Intention-Violation.Dylan Dodd - 2009 - European Journal of Philosophy 17 (1):45-59.
    According to the traditional view of weakness of will, a weak-willed agent acts in a way inconsistent with what she judges to be best.1 Richard Holton has argued against this view, claiming that ‘the central cases of weakness of will are best characterized not as cases in which people act against their better judgment, but as cases in which they fail to act on their intentions’ (1999: 241). But Holton doesn’t think all failures to act on one’s prior intentions, or (...)
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  • Intellectual Autonomy.Linda Zagzebski - 2013 - Philosophical Issues 23 (1):244-261.
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  • Kant and the “Old Formula of the Schools”.Robert B. Louden - 2021 - Philosophical Explorations 24 (1):63-74.
    In this essay I offer a new interpretation of Kant’s discussion of “the old formula of the schools” in the Critique of Practical Reason – “nihil appetimus, nisi sub ratione boni; nihil aversamur, n...
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  • Pathologies of Agency.Lubomira V. Radoilska - forthcoming - In The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Agency.
    This chapter aims to distinguish between pathologies of agency in the strict sense and mere sources of impediments or distortion. Expanding on a recent notion of necessarily less-than-successful agency, it complements a mainstream approach to mental disorders and anomalous psychological conditions in the philosophy of mind and action. According this approach, the interest of such clinical case studies is heuristic, to differentiate between facets of agency that are functionally and conceptually separate even though they typically come together. Yet, in the (...)
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  • Freedom, Obligation, and Responsibility: Prospects for a Unifying Theory.Ishtiyaque Haji - 2005 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):106-125.
  • Weakness of Will. The Limitations of Revealed Preference Theory.Aleksander Ostapiuk - 2022 - Acta Oeconomica 1 (72):1-23.
    The phenomenon of weakness of will – not doing what we perceive as the best action – is not recognized by neoclassical economics due to the axiomatic assumptions of the revealed preference theory (RPT) that people do what is best for them. However, present bias shows that people have different preferences over time. As they cannot be compared by the utility measurements, economists need to normatively decide between selves (short- versus long-term preferences). A problem is that neoclassical economists perceive RPT (...)
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  • The Will as Reason.Pamela Hieronymi - 2009 - Philosophical Perspectives 23 (1):201-220.
    I here defend an account of the will as practical reason —or, using Kant's phrase, as " reason in its practical employment"—as against a view of the will as a capacity for choice, in addition to reason, by which we execute practical judgments in action. Certain commonplaces show distance between judgment and action and thus seem to reveal the need for a capacity, in addition to reason, by which we execute judgment in action. However, another ordinary fact pushes in the (...)
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  • Can Explanatory Reasons Be Good Reasons for Action?Gerald Beaulieu - 2013 - Metaphilosophy 44 (4):440-450.
    What kind of thing is a reason for action? Are reasons for action subjective states of the agent, such as desires and/or beliefs? Or are they, rather, objective features of situations that favor certain actions? The suggestion offered in this article is that neither strategy satisfies. What is needed is a third category for classifying reasons which makes them out to be neither purely subjective nor purely objective. In brief: a reason for action is a feature of the situation that (...)
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  • Resisting 'Weakness of the Will'.Neil Levy - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (1):134 - 155.
    I develop an account of weakness of the will that is driven by experimental evidence from cognitive and social psychology. I will argue that this account demonstrates that there is no such thing as weakness of the will: no psychological kind corresponds to it. Instead, weakness of the will ought to be understood as depletion of System II resources. Neither the explanatory purposes of psychology nor our practical purposes as agents are well-served by retaining the concept. I therefore suggest that (...)
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  • When My Own Beliefs Are Not First-Personal Enough.Hilan Bensusan & Manuel de Pinedo - 2009 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 22 (1):35-41.
    Richard Moran has defended the need for two modes of access to our mental contents, a first-personal and a third-personal one. In this paper we maintain that, in the moral case, an excess of concentration on the a third-personal perspective precludes accounting for our responsibility over our own beliefs and our capacity to normatively respond to the world.
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