On Acting Rationally Against One's Best Judgment

Nomy Arpaly

in Unprincipled Virtue

Published in print December 2002 | ISBN: 9780195152043
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199785780 | DOI:
 On Acting Rationally Against One's Best Judgment

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This chapter argues against a common assumption in moral psychology — that akrasia is always irrational, or at least, always less rational than the corresponding self-controlled action. It contends that sometimes an agent is more rational for acting against her best judgment than she would be if she acted in accordance with her best judgment. There are cases where following her best judgment would make the agent significantly irrational, while acting akatrically would make her only trivially so, and as rational as most ever are.

Keywords: rationality; judgment; akrasia; action; deliberation

Chapter.  14834 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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