Oxford University Press, Usa (2020)
Self-control has gained enormous attention in recent years both in philosophy and the mind sciences, for it has profound implications on so many aspects of human life. Overcoming temptation, improving cognitive functioning, making life-altering decisions, and numerous other challenges all depend upon self-control. But recent developments in the philosophy of mind and in action theory, as well as in psychology, are now testing some of the assumptions about the nature of self-control previously held on purely a priori grounds. New essays in this volume offer fresh insights from a variety of angles: neuroscience; social, cognitive, and developmental psychology; decision theory; and philosophy. While much of the literature on self-control is spread across distinct disciplines and journals, this volume presents for the first time a thorough and truly interdisciplinary exploration of the topic. The essays address four central topics: what self-control is and how it works; temptation and goal pursuit; self-control, morality, and law; and extending self-control. They take up an array of complex and important questions. What is self-control? How is self-control related to willpower? How does inhibitory control work? What are the cultural and developmental origins of beliefs about self-control? How are attempts at self-control hindered or helped by emotions? How do our beliefs about our own ability to deal with temptation influence our behavior? What does the ability to avoid temptation depend on? How should juvenile responsibility be understood, and how should the juvenile justice system be reformed? Can an account of self-control help us understand free will? Combining the most recent scientific research with new frontiers in the philosophy of mind, this volume offers the most definitive guide to self-control to date.