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Before weakness of will 

Before weakness of will
Chapter:
Before weakness of will
Author(s):

Lubomira Radoilska

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199641963.003.0004
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date: 16 June 2019

This chapter explores the relationship between two phenomena, akrasia and ordinary weakness of will. The former is defined as acting against one’s better judgement, the latter as acting against one’s prior intention. Drawing on my earlier work on Aristotle’s philosophy of action, I argue that the classical conception of akrasia captures the more fundamental phenomenon, a primary failure of intentional agency, while ordinary weakness of will is best understood as an unsuccessful attempt to tackle akrasia, that is, a secondary failure of intentional agency which follows from and is partly explained by the primary failure that it tries to redress. By integrating ordinary weakness of will into the classical conception of akrasia, I show that there is an implicit link between strength and goodness of will even in instances where this link isn’t immediately apparent.

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