In “Free Agency,” Gary Watson distinguished two aspects of wanting something, namely, to evaluate it as good, and to be motivated to pursue it. In the same paper, he also paid attention to the distinction between satisfying a desire and getting rid of a desire. In the introductory part of this essay, I will present a characterization of the phenomenon of weakness of will that depends on the distinction between evaluation and motivation. In the main part, I will examine the role that the distinction between satisfying a desire and getting rid of it can play in circumstances where an agent exercises techniques of self-control in order to avoid succumbing to weak-willed action. The aim of this essay is to show that the evaluational judgment of an agent can be efficacious in important ways in leading the agent to action.
Socratic Skepticism of akrasia denies the existence of free and intentional action contrary to one's best judgment. The rationalistic assumption behind this idea is that we can reinterpret the central cases of akrasia as preceded by the preference reversal, or the change of best judgment which is caused by the temporal or physical proximity of the rewards, i.e., the immediate pleasure. I will show that the skeptic substitute for akrasia has exactly the same structure as what Pears calls “self-deceptive akrasia” and examine the scope of this approach to cover all the cases of akrasia, with a view to confirming the ontological possibility of genuine cases.
Prisoner's Dilemma is often mentioned to assert that morality is not rationality and that it makes possible the optimal choices which rational players can not choose. However, I argue that this view is not a correct solution of the dilemma. Rather, folk theorem provides the way to achieve the optimal rationally. It shows that a cooperative action is taken by each player to maximize his or her payoff in the long term. Therefore, morality should be seen as a kind of rationality. From this perspective, virtues are some advantageous characteristics of particular rational agents and moral rules are descriptions of equilibrium strategies in the social repeated games.
We, as deliberating agents, are temporal beings and can face the general problem of maintaining diachronic rationality. However, this problem has various aspects, and “akrasia” can be understood as one of them. In this paper, I define akrasia as acting against one's higher-order judgment, which includes the consideration of future alternatives. Indeed, there are objections to this type of definition of akrasia that involves higher-order attitudes. Some philosophers have concluded that akrasia is not necessarily hierarchical. However, contrary to this belief, I defend the hierarchical character of the concept of akrasia by appealing to a constructivistic and functionalistic characterization of a higher-order definitive evaluation or judgment. Moreover, I distinguish akrasia from other types of phenomena that share common elements with it, although they are not hierarchical. The view that the higher-orderness (i.e. the hierarchy) of attitudes is essential to the concept of akrasia is, if my argument is correct, more tenable than some philosophers have considered it to be.
Inspired by the recent development of dynamic epistemic logics, an investigation into logical dynamics of speech acts has been launched and a few logics have already been developed. We will review closely logics that deal with acts of commanding and promising, and show how they can capture the conventional effects of these illocutionary acts. We will also take a quick look at other logics that deal with perlocutionary acts of preference upgrading, and illocutionary acts of asserting, conceding, and withdrawing, and then conclude with a brief discussion of remaining problems and prospects for further research.
In this paper, I claim “Knowing-how is a species of abilities.” This means “Ascription of the determinate knowing-how entails ascription of the determinate abilities.” For the purpose of defending this claim, I show that the case of “pianist without arms” is not counterexample of it. In addition to that, I show benefit of counterfactual analysis by pointing some criterion of determination, ascription of knowing-how. Counterfactual analysis can provide the ways which explain some ordinary intuition about knowing-how ascription.
The present review concerns Yukihiro Nobuhara's masterpiece, Philosophy of Consciousness: Introduction to the Study of Qualia. This book should be highly acclaimed due to the fact that from an intentional / representational point of view, a modern orthodox naturalistic standpoint, the problems of qualia are examined conceptually by assimilating bodily sensations to perception, as well as that the author pursues these problems by suggesting the possibility of a strategy in which we assign explanatory priority to linguistic content and explain how mental content results from that. However, I believe that philosophy of mind should be naturalized and studied in greater detail on the basis of the results of neurological studies by distinguishing between sensory and affective phenomena.