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 discusses work on self-control in a trio of fields: philosophy, psychiatry, and social psychology. Topics include the range of behavior to which self-control is relevant, theoretical issues surrounding a strategy for self-control of potential use to addicts, the utility of implementation intentions for purposes of self-control, and an energy model of self-control. Work by psychiatrist George Ainslie and social psychologists Roy Baumeister and Peter Gollwitzer is discussed. The chapter takes up the question whether agents who fail to make a successful effort of self-control in the service of their conscious better judgments could ever have done otherwise, and it argues for an affirmative answer.

Keywords: ability to do otherwise; addiction; implementation intentions; self-control; strategic behavior

Chapter.  7773 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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