Guard against temptation: Intrapersonal team reasoning and the role of intentions in exercising willpower
Noûs 56 (3):554-569 (2022)
AbstractSometimes we make a decision about an action we will undertake later and form an intention, but our judgment of what it is best to do undergoes a temporary shift when the time for action comes round. What makes it rational not to give in to temptation? Many contemporary solutions privilege diachronic rationality; in some “rational non-reconsideration” (RNR) accounts once the agent forms an intention, it is rational not to reconsider. This leads to other puzzles: how can someone be motivated to follow a plan that is contrary to their current judgment? How can it be rational to form a plan to resist if we can predict that our judgment will shift? I show how these puzzles can be solved in a framework where there are multiple units of agency, distinguishing between the judgments of the timeslice and those of the person over time, and allowing that the timeslice can “self identify”, taking the person over time as the relevant unit of agency and doing intrapersonal team reasoning (with a different causal role for intentions than RNR accounts). On my account, resisting temptation is compatible with synchronic rationality, so synchronic and diachronic rationality are aligned. However, either resisting or succumbing to temptation can be instrumentally rational, depending on the unit of agency that is identified with. In order to show why we ought to resist temptation, we need to draw on a non-instrumental rationale. I sketch possible routes for doing this.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
References found in this work
Citations of this work
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Collective Intentions And Team Agency.Natalie Gold & Robert Sugden - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy 104 (3):109-137.
Beyond Team-Directed Reasoning: Participatory Intentions Contribute to a Theory of Collective Agency.Duijf Hein - 2017 - Logique Et Analyse.
Willing, Wanting, Waiting by Richard Holton. [REVIEW]Luca Ferrero - 2012 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 9 (3):443-457.
Team Reasoning: Theory and Evidence.Jurgis Karpus & Natalie Gold - 2017 - In Julian Kiverstein (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of the Social Mind. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 400-417.
Theories of Team Agency.Robert Sugden & Natalie Gold - 2007 - In Fabienne Peter & Hans Bernhard Schmid (eds.), Rationality and Commitment. Oxford University Press.
Philosophical Questions About the Nature of Willpower.Chandra Sekhar Sripada - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (9):793–805.
Team Reasoning, Framing, and Cooperation.Natalie Gold - 2012 - In Samir Okasha & Ken Binmore (eds.), Evolution and Rationality: Decisions, Co-Operation and Strategic Behaviour. Cambridge University Press.
Planning in the We-Mode.Pekka Mäkelä & Raul Hakli - 2017 - In Georg Peter & Gerhard Preyer (eds.), Social Ontology and Collective Intentionality: Critical Essays on the Philosophy of Raimo Tuomela with his Responses. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. pp. 117-140.
Intention and Motor Representation in Purposive Action.Stephen Andrew Butterfill & Corrado Sinigaglia - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):119-145.
Team Reasoning, Framing and Self-Control: An Aristotelian Account.Natalie Gold - 2013 - In Neil Levy (ed.), Addiction and SelfControl.
Willpower Needs Tactical Skill.Juan Pablo Bermúdez - 2021 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 44 (e32):17–18.
Temptation, Resolutions, and Regret.Chrisoula Andreou - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (3):275-292.
Team Reasoning and Intentional Cooperation for Mutual Benefit.Robert Sugden - 2015 - Journal of Social Ontology 1 (1):143–166.
Willpower is a Form of, but Not Synonymous with, Self-Control.Ariella Kristal & Julian Zlatev - 2021 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 44.