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What is self-control?

Philosophical Psychology 21 (1):69 – 90 (2008)

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  1. Resolving two tensions in (Neo-)Aristotelian approaches to self-control.Matthew Haug - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-16.
    A neo-Aristotelian approach to self-control has dominated both philosophy and the sciences of the mind. This approach endorses three key theses: that self-control is a form of self-regulation aimed at desires that conflict with one’s evaluative judgments, that high trait self-control is continence, which is distinguished from temperance by motivational conflict, and that self-control is broad, in that such resistance can be not only direct but also indirect. There is an obvious tension between and. I argue that the equally obvious (...)
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  • Self‐Control as a Normative Capacity.Annemarie Kalis - 2018 - Ratio 31 (S1):65-80.
    Recently, two apparent truisms about self-control have been questioned in both the philosophical and the psychological literature: the idea that exercising self-control involves an agent doing something, and the idea that self-control is a good thing. Both assumptions have come under threat because self-control is increasingly understood as a mental mechanism, and mechanisms cannot possibly be good or active in the required sense. However, I will argue that it is not evident that self-control should be understood as a mechanism, suggesting (...)
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  • The Atoms of Self‐Control.Chandra Sripada - forthcoming - Noûs.
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  • The Mismatch Problem: Why Mele's Approach to the Puzzle of Synchronic Self‐Control Does Not Succeed.Hannah Altehenger - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 102 (2):243-266.
    Most of us have had the experience of resisting our currently strongest desire, for example, resisting the desire to eat another cookie when eating another cookie is what we most want to do. The puzzle of synchronic self‐control, however, says that this is impossible: an agent cannot ever resist her currently strongest desire. The paper argues that one prominent solution to this puzzle – the solution offered by Al Mele – faces a serious ‘mismatch problem’, which ultimately undermines its plausibility. (...)
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  • Social Deprivation as Tempting Fate.Richard L. Lippke - 2011 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 5 (3):277-291.
    Two recent discussions concerning punishment of the socially deprived reach conflicting conclusions. Andrew von Hirsch and Andrew Ashworth argue that we should sympathize with the predicament of the poor and therefore mitigate their sentences. Peter Chau disputes von Hirsch and Ashworth’s conclusion, contending that having to face strong temptations is not an appropriate ground for reducing anyone’s punishment for their crimes. I argue that neither von Hirsch and Ashworth’s account nor Chau’s critique of it is persuasive. I then take up (...)
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  • Investigating the Other Side of Agency: A Cross-Disciplinary Approach to Intentional Omissions.Kaisa Kärki - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Jyväskylä
    This study develops conceptual means in philosophy of agency to better and more systematically address intentional omissions of agents, including those that are about resisting the action not done. I argue that even though philosophy of agency has largely concentrated on the actions of agents, when applying philosophy of action to the social sciences, a full-blown theoretical account of what agents do not do and a non-normative conceptual language of the phenomena in question is needed. Chapter 2 aims to find (...)
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  • The Mechanistic and Normative Structure of Agency.Jason Winning - 2019 - Dissertation, University of California San Diego
    I develop an interdisciplinary framework for understanding the nature of agents and agency that is compatible with recent developments in the metaphysics of science and that also does justice to the mechanistic and normative characteristics of agents and agency as they are understood in moral philosophy, social psychology, neuroscience, robotics, and economics. The framework I develop is internal perspectivalist. That is to say, it counts agents as real in a perspective-dependent way, but not in a way that depends on an (...)
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  • The Foundations of Agency – and Ethics?Olof Leffler - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (2):547-563.
    In this article, I take off from some central issues in Paul Katsafanas’ recent book Agency and the Foundations of Ethics. I argue that Katsafanas’ alleged aims of action fail to do the work he requires them to do. First, his approach to activity or control is deeply problematic in the light of counterexamples. More importantly, the view of activity or control he needs to get his argument going is most likely false, as it requires our values to do work (...)
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  • Self-Control and Akrasia.Christine Tappolet - forthcoming - In Meghan Griffith, Kevin Timpe & Neil Levy (eds.), Routledge Companion to Free Will. Routledge.
    Akratic actions are often being thought to instantiate a paradigmatic self-control failure. . If we suppose that akrasia is opposed to self-control, the question is how akratic actions could be free and intentional. After all, it would seem that it is only if an action manifests self-control that it can count as free. My plan is to explore the relation between akrasia and self-control. The first section presents what I shall call the standard conception, according to which akrasia and self-control (...)
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  • Self-Control and the Self.Hannah Altehenger - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):2183-2198.
    Prima facie, it seems highly plausible to suppose that there is some kind of constitutive relationship between self-control and the self, i.e., that self-control is “control at the service of the self” or even “control by the self.” This belief is not only attractive from a pre-theoretical standpoint, but it also seems to be supported by theoretical reasons. In particular, there is a natural fit between a certain attractive approach to self-control—the so-called “divided mind approach”—and a certain well-established approach to (...)
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  • Accessing Self-Control.Polaris Koi - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    Self-control is that which is enacted to align our behaviour with intentions, motives, or better judgment in the face of conflicting impulses of motives. In this paper, I ask, what explains interpersonal differences in self-control? After defending a functionalist conception of self-control, I argue that differences in self-control are analogous to differences in mobility: they are modulated by inherent traits and environmental supports and constraints in interaction. This joint effect of individual biology and environmental factors is best understood in terms (...)
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  • Explanation in Personality Psychology: “Verbal Magic” and the Five-Factor Model.Simon Boag - 2011 - Philosophical Psychology 24 (2):223-243.
    Scientific psychology involves both identifying and classifying phenomena of interest (description) and revealing the causes and mechanisms that contribute towards these phenomena arising (explanation). Within personality psychology, some propose that aspects of behavior and cognition can be explained with reference to personality traits. However, certain conceptual and logical issues cast doubt upon the adequacy of traits as coherent explanatory constructs. This paper discusses ?explanation? in psychology and the problems of circularity and reification. An analysis of relations and intrinsic properties is (...)
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  • Self-Control in Action and Belief.Martina Orlandi & Sarah Stroud - 2021 - Philosophical Explorations 24 (2):225-242.
    Self-control is normally, if only tacitly, viewed as an inherently practical capacity or achievement: as exercised only in the domain of action. Questioning this assumption, we wish to motivate the...
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  • Self-Control and Mechanisms of Behavior: Why Self-Control is Not a Natural Mental Kind.Marcela Herdova - 2017 - Philosophical Psychology 30 (6):731-762.
    In this paper, I argue for two main hypotheses. First, that self-control is not a natural mental kind and, second, that there is no dedicated mechanism of self-control. By the first claim, I simply mean that those behaviors we label as “self-controlled” are a somewhat arbitrarily selected hodgepodge that do not have anything in common that distinguishes them from other behaviors. In other words, self-control is a gerrymandered property that does not correspond to a natural mental or psychological kind. By (...)
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