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The varying rationality of weakness of the will : an empirical investigation and its challenges for a unified theory of rationality

Title data

Messerli, Michael ; Fink, Julian ; Reuter, Kevin:
The varying rationality of weakness of the will : an empirical investigation and its challenges for a unified theory of rationality.
In: Synthese. Vol. 200 (2022) . - No. 365.
ISSN 1573-0964
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-022-03807-7

Abstract in another language

Weakness of the will remains a perplexing issue. Though philosophers have made substantial progress in homing in on what counts as a weak will, there is little agreement on whether weakness of the will is irrational, and if so, why. In this paper, we take an empirical approach towards the rationality of weakness of the will. After introducing the philosophical debate, we present the results of an empirical study that reveals that people take a “dual sensitivity”, as we shall put it, towards assessing the rationality of weak-willed behavior. Put succinctly, intending X against your value judgements is assessed irrational; yet, in the same situation, intending X is assessed significantly less irrational if you judge X as something you ought to do. After discussing this result, we turn to the question of whether there is a plausible theory of rationality than can account for the dual sensitivity of the rationality assessments. We show that a success-based account can make sense of the dual sensitivity our empirical results reveal.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Department of Philosophy > Professor Practical Philosophy > Professor Practical Philosophy - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Julian Fink
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 100 Philosophy and psychology > 100 Philosophy
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2022 07:31
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 07:31
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/72474