Resist or yield? What to do with temptations?

In Alfred Mele (ed.), Surrounding Self-Control. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 242-256 (2020)
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An important recent distinction in the empirical literature about self-control is between resisting and avoiding temptations. While we have evidence that avoiding temptations is the more efficient method of the two, philosophers have focused almost exclusively on resisting temptations. The aim of this paper is to examine what the ability to avoid temptations depends on and argue that it depends primarily on how fragmented one’s mind is: on the inconsistencies in one’s mental setup. The fragmentation of mind requires a significant amount of mental effort to conceal from oneself and this leads to a weakened ability to resist temptations.



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Bence Nanay
University of Antwerp

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