Show Summary Details
Page of

Before weakness of will 

Before weakness of will
Before weakness of will

Lubomira Radoilska

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 June 2021

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.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.