Ideas y Valores
versão impressa ISSN 0120-0062
BETZLER, MONIKA. Weakness of the Will as Furtive Irrationality. Ideas y Valores [online]. 2009, vol.58, n.141, pp. 191-215. ISSN 0120-0062.
According to a widely extended conception, people display weakness of the will when they act freely and intentionally against their own judgment regarding what is best. However, there is another conception according to which persons display weakness of the will when they act against their reasonable intentions. On the basis of this conception focused on intentions, my objective is to specify two conditions of rationality in order to characterize actions against reasonable intentions as cases of irrationality. On the one hand, I demonstrate the extent to which intentions can be reasonable. Only in this case can an action that goes against an already formed intention be actually irrational. According to my thesis, intentions can only be reasonable when they identify our best reasons, and this can become evident only if intentions can be judged. On the other hand, I explain the extent to which a person intending to pursue a reasonable end might possibly not establish the means necessary to achieve that end. Thus, a person displays weakness of the will only when he or she establishes an end to be pursued but not the means to achieve said end. In this respect, I explain that the means needed to achieve a complex end are vague. Therefore, a person displays weakness of the will when it is neither true nor false that the means selected actually achieve the established end.
Palavras-chave : Intentions; means and ends; irrationality; weakness of the will.