Article/Publication Details

Intentions, Akrasia, and Mere Permissibility

(Original title: Intentions, Akrasia, and Mere Permissibility)
Organon F, 2013, vol. 20, No 4, pp. 588-611.
Language: English
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Something is wrong with akrasia, means-end incoherence, and intention
inconsistency. This observation has led many philosophers to postulate ‘wide-scope’ requirements against these combinations of attitudes. But other philosophers have argued that this is unwarranted. They claim that we can explain what is wrong with these combinations of attitudes by appealing only to plausible independent claims about reasons for particular beliefs and intentions. In this paper, I argue that these philosophers may well be right about akrasia but that they are wrong about means-end incoherence and intention inconsistency. While it is plausibly impossible to be akratic while having no specific attitude (or lack of an attitude) that you should not have, it is possible to be means-end incoherent or to have inconsistent intentions while having no specific attitude you should not have. There is thus a strong motivation for accepting wide-scope requirements against means-end incoherence and intention inconsistency which does not apply to akrasia. This result offers support to a view of means-end coherence and
intention consistency I have defended elsewhere.


Akrasia, intentions, mere permissibility, objectivism and perspectivism about ‘ought’, rational requirements

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