Willing, Wanting, Waiting

Willing, Wanting, Waiting

3.87 (15 ratings by Goodreads)
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Richard Holton provides a unified account of intention, choice, weakness of will, strength of will, temptation, addiction, and freedom of the will. Drawing on recent psychological research, he argues that, rather than being the pinnacle of rationality, the central components of the will are there to compensate for our inability to make or maintain sound judgments. Choice is understood as the capacity to form intentions even in the absence of judgments of what action
is best. Weakness of will is understood as the failure to maintain an intention, or more specifically, a resolution, in the face of temptation-where temptation typically involves a shift in judgment as to what is best, or in the case of addiction, a disconnection between what is judged best and what
is desired. Strength of will is the corresponding ability to maintain a resolution, an ability that requires the employment of a particular faculty or skill. Finally, the experience of freedom of the will is traced to the experiences of forming intentions, and of maintaining resolutions, both of which require effortful activity from the agent.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 218 pages
  • 142 x 215 x 16mm | 294g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199692289
  • 9780199692286
  • 849,803

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. Intention ; 2. Belief ; 3. Choice ; 4. Weakness of Will ; 5. Temptation ; 6. Strength of Will ; 7. Rationality ; 8. Freedom ; Bibliography
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Review quote

Philosophically sophistricated and empirically up-to-date * Tim Bayne, Times Literary Supplement * This book is beautifully written, stimulating, incisive and convincing. Holton is terrific at finding excellent examples, many from literature, to prove or to illustrate his points: the book is embellished with passages or quotations from everyone from Somerset Maugham and Gustave Flaubert to A.S. Byatt and Martin Amis. Willing, Wanting, Waiting is a true pleasure to read, and should not be missed by anyone interested in the philosophy of mind or action. * Sarah Stroud, The Philosophical Quarterly *
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About Richard Holton

Richard Holton is Professor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has previously taught at Monash University, the Australian National University, the University of Sheffield, and the University of Edinburgh.
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Rating details

15 ratings
3.87 out of 5 stars
5 20% (3)
4 47% (7)
3 33% (5)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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