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Weakness of Will as Insufficient Self-Constitution
AdvisorWilliams, Christopher T
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Philosophers often use the word “akrasia,” Greek for “lacking command,” to discuss weakness of will. Traditionally, akrasia has been understood as acting against one’s all-things-considered best judgement. Upon further examination, however, akrasia turns out to be only one kind of weakness of will. Other ways in which an agent’s will can be weak include indecision, action-inhibiting ambivalence, apathy, and related varieties of practical irrationality. In all these cases, I argue that the agent has either failed to endorse certain practical identities of her own, or she has failed to bring those identities together into a singular, unified whole. In other words, the weak-willed agent either does not know what she loves or fails to value what she loves wholeheartedly, and consequently lacks proper self-constitution. This agent is one who lacks sufficient efficacy and autonomy. A weak will, then, is simply a weak self.