Philosophical Studies 168 (3):783-796 (2014)

Self-control has been described as the ability to master motivation that is contrary to one’s better judgement; that is, an ability that prevents such motivation from resulting in behaviour that is contrary to one’s overall better judgement (Mele, Irrationality: An essay on Akrasia, self-deception and self-control, p. 54, 1987). Recent discussions in philosophy have centred on the question of whether synchronic self-control, in which one exercises self-control whilst one is currently experiencing opposing motivation, is actional or non-actional. The actional theorist maintains that such exercises are actions, whilst the non-actional theorist claims that synchronic self-control consists in the having of unmotivated thoughts which occur at times when agents experience recalcitrant motivations and which serve to attenuate the strength of those motivations. In this paper I discuss a class of cases which has been largely ignored in these discussions, cases which I argue are common synchronic self-control problems, but in which a lack of motivation is the characteristic symptom. I argue that such cases present problems for actional accounts and add some support to the non-actional approach
Keywords Self control  Willpower  Apathy  Accidie
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-013-0162-2
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References found in this work BETA

Willing, Wanting, Waiting.Richard Holton - 2009 - Oxford University Press UK.
Motivation and Agency.Alfred R. Mele - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Resisting 'Weakness of the Will'.Neil Levy - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (1):134 - 155.

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