Rational Capacities, Resolve, and Weakness of Will

Mind 119 (476):907 - 932 (2010)
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Abstract

In this paper we present an account of practical rationality and weakness of will in terms of rational capacities. We show how our account rectifies various shortcomings in Michael Smith's related theory. In particular, our account is capable of accommodating cases of weak-willed behaviour that are not `akratic', or otherwise contrary to the agent's better judgement. Our account differs from Smith's primarily by incorporating resolve: a third rational capacity for resolute maintenance of one's intentions. We discuss further two ways to explain the importance of resolve to practical rationality: one based on Richard Holton's recent work, and an alternative, non-consequentialist account.

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Author Profiles

Daniel B Cohen
Charles Sturt University
Toby Handfield
Monash University

Citations of this work

What in the World is Weakness of Will?Joshua May & Richard Holton - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (3):341–360.
Situationism, capacities and culpability.Adam Piovarchy - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (6):1997-2027.
References.John Bengson & Marc A. Moffett - 2011 - In Knowing How: Essays on Knowledge, Mind, and Action. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 361-386.
Could Integrity Be An Epistemic Virtue?Greg Scherkoske - 2012 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 20 (2):185-215.

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References found in this work

Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza - 1998 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Mark Ravizza.
Intention, plans, and practical reason.Michael Bratman - 1987 - Cambridge: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Powers: A Study in Metaphysics.George Molnar - 2003 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Stephen Mumford.

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