Self‐Control, Akrasia, and Second‐Order Desires

Alfred R. Mele

in Autonomous Agents

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780195150438
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199869091 | DOI:
 Self‐Control, Akrasia, and Second‐Order Desires

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Traditional, Aristotelian conceptions of actions that manifest self‐control and actions that manifest weakness of will (akrasia) feature evaluative judgments. This chapter defends modest revisions of those conceptions that feature such judgments and apply to orthodox and unorthodox species of both kinds of action. It is argued that neither akratic nor self‐controlled action is properly analyzed in terms of higher‐order desires or higher‐order preferences. A judgment‐featuring account of what it is to be a self‐controlled person is developed.

Keywords: akrasia; Aristotle; evaluative judgments; higher‐order desires; higher‐order preferences; self‐control; weakness of will

Chapter.  15664 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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