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Akrasia and self-control

Philosophical Explorations 12 (1):69 – 78 (2009)

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  1. Essays on Actions and Events: Philosophical Essays Volume 1.Donald Davidson - 1970 - Clarendon Press.
  • Value, Reality, and Desire.Graham Oddie - 2005 - Clarendon Press.
    Value, Reality, and Desire is an extended argument for a robust realism about value. The robust realist affirms the following distinctive theses. There are genuine claims about value which are true or false--there are facts about value. These value-facts are mind-independent - they are not reducible to desires or other mental states, or indeed to any non-mental facts of a non-evaluative kind. And these genuine, mind-independent, irreducible value-facts are causally efficacious. Values, quite literally, affect us. These are not particularly fashionable (...)
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  • Needs, Values, Truth: Essays in the Philosophy of Value.David Wiggins - 1987 - Oxford University Press.
    Needs, Values, Truth brings together of some of the most important and influential writings by a leading contemporary philosopher, drawn from twenty-five years of his work in the broad area of the philosophy of value. The author ranges between problems of ethics, meta-ethics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of logic and language, looking at questions relating to meaning, truth and objectivity in judgements of value. For this third edition he has added a new essay on incommensurability, in addition to making (...)
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  • Mental Reality.Galen Strawson - 1994 - MIT Press.
    Introduction -- A default position -- Experience -- The character of experience -- Understanding-experience -- A note about dispositional mental states -- Purely experiential content -- An account of four seconds of thought -- Questions -- The mental and the nonmental -- The mental and the publicly observable -- The mental and the behavioral -- Neobehaviorism and reductionism -- Naturalism in the philosophy of mind -- Conclusion: The three questions -- Agnostic materialism, part 1 -- Monism -- The linguistic argument (...)
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  • Three Faces of Desire.Timothy Schroeder - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
    To desire something is a condition familiar to everyone. It is uncontroversial that desiring has something to do with motivation, something to do with pleasure, and something to do with reward. Call these "the three faces of desire." The standard philosophical theory at present holds that the motivational face of desire presents its unique essence--to desire a state of affairs is to be disposed to act so as to bring it about. A familiar but less standard account holds the hedonic (...)
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  • Irrationality: An Essay on `Akrasia', Self-Deception, and Self-Control.Alfred R. Mele - 1987 - Oxford University Press.
    Although much human action serves as proof that irrational behaviour is remarkably common, certain forms of irrationalityDSmost incontinent action and self-deceptionDSpose such difficult problems that philosophers have rejected them as logically or psychologically impossible. Here, Alfred Mele shows that incontinent action and self-deception are indeed possible.
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  • Desire as Belief.David K. Lewis - 1988 - Mind 97 (387):323-332.
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  • How Is Weakness of the Will Possible?Donald Davidson - 1969 - In Joel Feinberg (ed.), Moral Concepts. Oxford University Press.
    D. In doing x an agent acts incontinently if and only if: 1) the agent does x intentionally; 2) the agent believes there is an alternative action y open to him; and 3) the agent judges that, all things considered, it would be better to do y than to do x.
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  • Desire as Belief.David K. Lewis - 1988 - Mind 97 (418):323-32.
    Argues for the humean theory of motivation on the grounds that rejecting it requires rejecting decision theory.
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  • The Authority of Desire.Dennis W. Stampe - 1987 - Philosophical Review 96 (July):335-81.
    The Aristotelian dictum that desire is the starting point of practical reasoning that ends in action can of course be denied. Its denial is a commonplace of moral theory in the tradition of Kant. But in this essay I am concerned with that issue only indirectly. I shall not contend that rational action always or necessarily does involve desire as its starting point; nor shall I deny it. My question concerns instead the possibility of its ever beginning in desire. For (...)
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  • Skepticism About Weakness of Will.Gary Watson - 1977 - Philosophical Review 86 (3):316-339.
    My concern in this paper will be to explore and develop a version of nonsocratic skepticism about weakness of will. In my view, socratism is incorrect, but like Socrates, I think that the common understanding of weakness of will raises serious problems. Contrary to socratism, it is possible for a person knowingly to act contrary to his or her better judgment. But this description does not exhaust the common view of weakness. Also implicit in this view is the belief that (...)
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  • Plato's Protagoras and Explanations of Weakness.Gerasimos Santas - 1966 - Philosophical Review 75 (1):3-33.
  • The Act of Choice.Richard Holton - 2006 - Philosophers' Imprint 6:1-15.
    Choice is one of the central elements in the experience of free will, but it has not received a good account from either compatibilists or libertarians. This paper develops an account of choice based around three features: (i) choice is an action; (ii) choice is not determined by one's prior beliefs and desires; (iii) once the question of what to do has arisen, choice is typically both necessary and sufficient for moving to action. These features might appear to support a (...)
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  • Free Agency.Gary Watson - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (April):205-20.
    In the subsequent pages, I want to develop a distinction between wanting and valuing which will enable the familiar view of freedom to make sense of the notion of an unfree action. The contention will be that, in the case of actions that are unfree, the agent is unable to get what he most wants, or values, and this inability is due to his own "motivational system." In this case the obstruction to the action that he most wants to do (...)
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  • Intention and Weakness of Will.Richard Holton - 1999 - Journal of Philosophy 96 (5):241.
    Philosophical orthodoxy identifies weakness of will with akrasia: the weak willed person is someone who intentionally acts against their better judgement. It is argued that this is a mistake. Weakness of will consists in a quite different failing, namely an over-ready revision of one's intentions. Building on the work of Bratman, an account of such over-ready revision is given. A number of examples are then adduced showing how weakness of will, so understood, differs from akrasia.
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  • Frog and Toad Lose Control.J. Kennett & M. Smith - 1996 - Analysis 56 (2):63-73.
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  • Needs, Values, Truth: Essays in the Philosophy of Value.J. J. C. Smart - 1990 - Ethics 100 (3):628-640.
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  • The Judgment of a Weak Will.Sergio Tenenbaum - 1999 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (4):875-911.
    In trying to explain the possibility of akrasia , it seems plausible to deny that there is a conceptual connection between motivation and evaluation ; akrasia occurs when the agent is motivated to do something that she does not judge to be good . However, it is hard to see how such accounts could respect our intuition that the akratic agent acts freely, or that there is a difference between akrasia and compulsion. It is also hard to see how such (...)
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  • Intending.Donald Davidson - 1978 - Philosophy of History and Action 11:41-60.
    Someone may intend to build a squirrel house without having decided to do it, deliberated about it, formed an intention to do it, or reasoned about it. And despite his intention, he may never build a squirrel house, try to build one, or do anything whatever with the intention of getting a squirrel house built. Pure intending of this kind, intending that may occur without practical reasoning, action, or consequence, poses a problem if we want to give an account of (...)
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  • The Judgment of a Weak Will.Sergio Tenenbaum - 1999 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 59 (4):875-911.
    In trying to explain the possibility of akrasia, it seems plausible to deny that there is a conceptual connection between motivation and evaluation ; akrasia occurs when the agent is motivated to do something that she does not judge to be good. However, it is hard to see how such accounts could respect our intuition that the akratic agent acts freely, or that there is a difference between akrasia and compulsion. It is also hard to see how such accounts could (...)
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  • Is Akratic Action Unfree?Alfred R. Mele - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 46 (4):673-679.
    That incontinent action is possible, I have argued elsewhere. The purpose of the present paper is to ascertain whether such action can ever be free.
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  • Oughts and Wants.Neil Cooper & John Benson - 1968 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 42 (1):143-172.
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  • Review of Irrationality. [REVIEW]Frank Jackson - 1990 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 50 (3):635-636.
  • Where Does the Akratic Break Take Place?Amelie Oksenberg Rorty - 1980 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 58 (4):333 – 346.
  • On Acting Rationally Against One's Best Judgment.Nomy Arpaly - 2000 - Ethics 110 (3):488-513.
    I argue that akrasia is not always significantly irrational. To be more precise, I argue that an agent is sometimes more rational for being akratic then she would have been for being enkratic or strong-willed.
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  • Needs, Values, Truth: Essays in the Philosophy of Value.David Wiggins - 1988 - Philosophy 63 (246):550-552.
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  • Frog and Toad Lose Control.Jeanette Kennett & Michael Smith - 1996 - Analysis 56 (2):63–73.
    It seems to be a truism that whenever we do something - and so, given the omnipresence of trying (Hornsby 1980), whenever we try to do something - we want to do that thing more than we want to do anything else we can do (Davidson 1970). However, according to Frog, when we have will power we are able to try not to do something that we ‘really want to do’. In context the idea is clearly meant to be that (...)
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