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Aristotle on the Structure of Akratic Action

In: Phronesis
Author:
Elena Cagnoli Fiecconi Polonsky Academy for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute 43 Jabotinsky, Jerusalem Israel

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Abstract

I argue that, for Aristotle, akratic actions are against one’s general commitment to act in accordance with one’s correct conception of one’s ends overall. Only some akratic actions are also against one’s correct decision to perform a particular action. This thesis explains Aristotle’s views on impetuous akrasia, weak akrasia, stubborn opinionated action and inverse akrasia. In addition, it sheds light on Aristotle’s account of practical rationality. Rational actions are coherent primarily with one’s commitments to one’s conception of the good and only secondarily with one’s decisions to perform a particular action.

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