Plato, Hare, and Davidson on Akrasia <sup>1</sup>

C. C. W. Taylor

in Pleasure, Mind, and Soul

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780199226399
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191710209 | DOI:
 Plato, Hare, and Davidson on Akrasia 1

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This chapter argues against a principle on which Donald Davidson relies in his influential discussion of akrasia, viz: ‘If an agent judges that it would be better to do x than to do y, he wants to do x more than to do y’. It seeks to show by a counter-example that that principle is false, and then to explain the different reasons why Plato and R. M. Hare also accept it. Finally, the chapter proposes an alternative principle, acceptance of which both explains the occurrence of akrasia and does more justice to the complex phenomena of wanting than the positions criticized in this chapter.

Keywords: intentional action; pleasure; self-interest; evaluation; prescriptivism; preference

Chapter.  9041 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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