Resolutions and Akrasia Approach

1748 Words7 Pages
In this essay, I seek to critically discuss whether resolutions provide a better explanation of the weakness of the will than the traditional/ Akrasia account or not. I will achieve this by briefly explaining what the traditional account is and also what the resolution account is. Furthermore, I will explain the advantages of Holton’s approach and also give reasons why Holton’s argument succeed which will be accompanied by a rebuttal. The Akrasia traditional approach merely states that a person is weak-willed if they act against their best judgement. If one judges A to be the best course of action, why would one do anything other than A? This is what we call the traditional approach of the weakness of the will. To give an example, smokers who judge that quitting smoking will be the best thing for them but do not quit, act against their better judgement and therein display weakness of the will. That is, theirbeing weak-willed consists in their failing to do what they think is best for them. The traditional account of weakness of will is as follows: an agent is weak-willed on an occasion if and only if the agent does not do that which she believes is best. The agent thinks she knows what the best course of action to take is, and knowingly acts against it. However, Holton disagrees, he argues that weakness of the will involves revising one’s resolutions too easily. By this, Holton means it is possible to act against one’s better judgement (that is, being Akratic) but without being weak-willed. Holton, on the other hand, argues that the traditional akratic account is flawed. Instead, he argues that an agent displays weakness of will when the agent unreasonably revises a resolution to do some action (Holton, 2009, p. 78).He also states that a person is only weak-willed if they revise their intentions when they were not supposed to revise them. This is what Holton calls
Open Document