Weakness of Will and Akrasia

Alfred R. Mele

in Backsliding

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199896134
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949533 | DOI:
Weakness of Will and Akrasia

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There is a voluminous philosophical literature on akrasia that at least purports to be about weakness of will. Richard Holton has developed a view of the nature of weak-willed actions that, as he reports, departs from most of the literature on the subject. If his view is correct, much of what has been written about akrasia and akratic actions is not about weakness of will and weak-willed actions. This chapter argues that the author’s view of the nature of akratic actions in earlier work—a view that accommodates both core akratic actions and akratic actions of other kinds—fares considerably better in the sphere of weakness of will than Holton’s view does. The argument benefits from some studies of folk conceptions of weakness of will that employ techniques of experimental philosophy. The chapter’s aim is to clarify the nature of weak-willed actions.

Keywords: Akrasia; core akratic action; experimental philosophy; weak-willed actions; weakness of will

Chapter.  7178 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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