Introduction: Self‐Control and Personal Autonomy

Alfred R. Mele

in Autonomous Agents

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780195150438
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199869091 | DOI:
 Introduction: Self‐Control and Personal Autonomy

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Introduces some of the book's key concepts, sketches the process leading to full‐blown deliberative action, and provides an overview of the first half of the book. Important concepts introduced are autonomy, self‐control, akrasia or weakness of will, control, and determinism. It is argued that full‐blown, deliberative, and intentional action involves some psychological basis for evaluative reasoning (for example, values, desires, and beliefs), an evaluative judgment that is made on the basis of such reasoning and recommends a particular course of action, an intention formed or acquired on the basis of that judgment, and an action that executes that intention. An agent who lacks control at any of these junctures does not act autonomously.

Keywords: action; akrasia; autonomy; control; deliberation; determinism; evaluative judgment; intention; self‐control; weakness of will

Chapter.  6851 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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