Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (3):pp. 466-467 (2009)

Weakness of will denotes a phenomenon that many would regard as forming part of everyday human experience. I hate to admit to it, but I do sometimes reprimand my children more harshly than I think I should, and similar situations occur daily. This could be an example of weakness of will or incontinence: I will to be constructive and provide a model of calm interaction, but fail to do so because my will is weak and I end up acting against better knowledge. But what is it that happens in such situations? Philosophers, theologians, poets, and other writers have discussed this question as akrasia, as well as under other headings. Weakness of Will from Plato to the Present not only contributes to a growing body of scholarship on the history of akrasia, but is also the first book that attempts to cover the trajectory of this issue through all major periods of Western philosophy. The book invites a broad range of readers, focusing on canonical figures from Plato and Aristotle through Augustine and Aquinas to Descartes, Kant, and Nietzsche
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DOI 10.1353/hph.0.0131
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