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Addiction and weakness of will: An integrated account 

Addiction and weakness of will: An integrated account
Chapter:
Addiction and weakness of will: An integrated account
Author(s):

Lubomira Radoilska

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199641963.003.0005
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date: 16 June 2019

This chapter offers an integrated account of addiction and weakness of will. Like weakness of will, addiction is a secondary failure of intentional agency, which derives from akrasia. However, unlike weakness of will, addiction is a form of akrasia that becomes recalcitrant in virtue of being devoid of pleasure. Paradoxically, this is what accounts for the sense of compulsion typically associated with addiction, but not weakness of will. This integrated account is grounded in a general theory of responsibility and a related model of action as actualisation bringing together insights from both volitional and non-volitional conceptions. In particular, the actualisation model supports a distinctive version of the Guise of the Good thesis which links valuing and intending in terms of success in action and explains why akratic actions and their offspring – addiction and weakness of will – are necessarily less than successful yet fully responsible.

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