Edited by Jennifer Radden

in The Philosophy of Psychiatry

Published in print June 2004 | ISBN: 9780195149531
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199870943 | DOI:

Series: International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry


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Weakness of will has perplexed philosophers since Plato's time. This chapter places some of the literature on volitional disorders and addictions in a philosophical context dating back to Plato and Aristotle in an attempt to shed light on issues that a theorist who wishes to analyze the idea of a volitional disorder will face. Key here is the notion of the irresistability and resistability of pertinent desires, which is explored in relation to George Ainslie's work on the ability to make and adhere to personal rules.

Keywords: weakness of will; Plato; irresistability; resistability; George Ainslie; personal rules

Chapter.  5339 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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