Addiction and Weakness of Will

ISBN : 9780199641963

Lubomira Radoilska
160 Pages
157 x 234 mm
Pub date
Nov 2013
International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry
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The way in which society views addiction underlies how it treats, understands, blames, or even punishes those with addictive behaviours. This thought-provoking new book presents an original philosophical analysis bringing together addiction and weakness of will. Within the book, the author develops an integrated account of these two phenomena, rooted in a classical conception of akrasia as valuing without intending and at the same time intending without valuing. This fascinating and suggestive account addresses a number of paradoxes faced by current thinking about addiction and weakness of will, in particular the significance of control and intention for responsible action. Addiction and Weakness of Will makes an original contribution to central issues in moral psychology and philosophy of action, including the relationship between responsibility and intentional agency, and the nature and scope of moral appraisal. The book is valuable for philosophers, ethicists and psychiatrists with an interest in philosophy.


Introduction: The Moral Philosophy of Addiction and Weakness of Will
1. Addiction and Voluntary Control
1.1 Wallace on Responsibility and Control
1.2 The Disparity of Actions and Attitudes
1.3 Responsibility for Addiction: Excuses and Exemptions
1.4 Actions and Omissions Revisited
1.5 Positive Moral Appraisal
2. Addiction and Rational Judgement
2.1 Smith on Responsibility for Attitudes
2.2 Responsible Irrationality
2.2.1 Conflicting Attitudes
2.2.2 Implications for Paradigm Cases: Patterns of Awareness and Wholehearted Attitudes
2.3 Is Responsibility Best Understood as a Cluster Concept?
2.4 Addiction and Agential Evaluative Stance
2.4.1 De Quincey: Confessions of an English Opium Eater
2.4.2 Dostoevsky: The Gambler
3. Weakness of Will and Moral Appraisal
3.1 Arplay on Responsibility in the Absence of Control
3.2 Standard Akrasia
3.3 Inverse Akrasia
3.3.1 Inept Burglar
3.3.2 Neoptolemus
3.3.3 Huckleberry Finn
3.4 Strength Versus Goodness of Will
3.4.1 Mizogushi
4. Before Weakness of Will
4.1 Holton on Weakness of Will
4.2 Aristotle on Akrasia
4.2.1 The Logical Form of Akrasia
4.2.2 The Blameworthiness of Akrasia
4.2.3 The Pre-Intentionality of Akrasia
4.3 Revisting Weakness of Will
4.4 Weakness of Will as a Failure to Resist Akrasia
5. Addiction and Weakness of Will: An Integrated Account
5.1 Actions as Actualization
5.2 Success in Action and the Guise of the Good
5.3 Less than Successful Actions
5.4 Concluding Remarks:The Offspring of Akrasia

About the author: 

Lubomira Radoilska's research has focused on developing a new theory of autonomous agency and exploring its implications in core areas of philosophy. She holds a doctorate in philosophy from Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris. Since 2003, she has held the following positions at the University of Cambridge: Research Fellow at Clare Hall, Director of Studies at New Hall and Downing College, and Wellcome Trust Fellow at the Faculty of Philosophy, where she is currently an Affiliated Lecturer. Since September 2003, she also holds a Lectureship in Philosophy at the University of Kent, Canterbury. Lubomira Radoilska is the author of 'Aristotle and the Moral Philosophy of Today' (PUF, 2007) and editor of 'Autonomy and Mental Disorder' (OUP, 2012).

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