Breakdown of Will

Cambridge University Press (2001)
Ainslie argues that our responses to the threat of our own inconsistency determine the basic fabric of human culture. He suggests that individuals are more like populations of bargaining agents than like the hierarchical command structures envisaged by cognitive psychologists. The forces that create and constrain these populations help us understand so much that is puzzling in human action and interaction: from addictions and other self-defeating behaviors to the experience of willfulness, from pathological over-control and self-deception to subtler forms of behavior such as altruism, sadism, gambling, and the 'social construction' of belief. This book integrates approaches from experimental psychology, philosophy of mind, microeconomics, and decision science to present one of the most profound and expert accounts of human irrationality available. It will be of great interest to philosophers and an important resource for professionals and students in psychology, economics and political science.
Keywords Will  Choice (Psychology  Self-defeating behavior
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2012
Buy the book $8.91 used (83% off)   $34.82 new (32% off)   $51.00 direct from Amazon    Amazon page
Call number BF611.A295 2001
ISBN(s) 9781139164191   9780521593007
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 36,003
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Contours of Control.Joshua Shepherd - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (3):395-411.
Resisting 'Weakness of the Will'.Neil Levy - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (1):134 - 155.

View all 38 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Reformulating Psychology as a Human Science.William H. Helme - 1992 - Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 12 (2):119-136.
How Psychology Can Keep its Promises: A Response to Lana.Henry D. Schlinger - 2004 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 25 (4):277-286.
George Ainslie, Breakdown of Will. [REVIEW]Christian Perring - 2002 - Philosophy in Review 22:235-237.
Interaction Context Theory: The Interdependence and Mutual Exclusivity of Observation and Action.W. F. Lawless - 1996 - Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 16 (2):141-161.
Altruism is a Primary Impulse, Not a Discipline.George Ainslie & Nick Haslam - 2002 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):251-251.
George Ainslie, Breakdown of Will Reviewed By.Christian Perring - 2002 - Philosophy in Review 22 (4):235-237.
Precis of Breakdown of Will.Ainslie George - 2005 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (5):635-650.


Added to PP index

Total downloads
69 ( #94,828 of 2,293,951 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #255,051 of 2,293,951 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature