Akrasia: The Unity of the Good, Commensurability, and Comparability

Michael Stocker

in Plural and Conflicting Values

Published in print October 1992 | ISBN: 9780198240556
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598463 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

 Akrasia: The Unity of the Good, Commensurability, and Comparability

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Looks at akrasia (weakness of will), monism, and pluralism. Many deem akrasia conceptually incoherent (the problem of the Protagorean Predicament). Others, notably David Wiggins, argue that coherence is secured in so far as incommensurable values are present. Against these views, it is argued that coherent akrasia is possible, and that it requires the distinction between the cognitive and the affective, and not between comparable and commensurable values. Akrasia extends to monistic theories––a monistic theory, e.g. hedonism, is compatible with akrasia. Akratic conflict does not require plurality. An account of reasons, which goes beyond value finality (the view that only what are seen as good reasons can motivate) and value maximization, emerges.

Keywords: akrasia; hedonism; monism; pluralism; value

Chapter.  12140 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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