Alfred R. Mele

in Backsliding

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199896134
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949533 | DOI:

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This chapter identifies the book’s goal—to show that weak-willed action is possible and to explain why it happens. The chapter provides conceptual and historical background, including background on skepticism about weakness of will. Concepts discussed include akrasia, better judgment, rationality, self-control, and weakness of will. Philosophers discussed include Plato, Aristotle, Donald Davidson, and Richard Hare. A definition of core akratic action is offered: it is free, sane, intentional action that, as the nondepressed agent consciously recognizes at the time of action, is contrary to his better judgment. The chapter sets the stage for the remainder of the book and provides a preview of what is to come.

Keywords: Akrasia; better judgment; core akratic action; free will; rationality; self-control; weakness of will

Chapter.  4089 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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