Irrationality: An Essay on Akrasia, Self-Deception, and Self-Control / Edition 1

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Overview

Although much human action serves as proof that irrational behavior is remarkably common, certain forms of irrationality—most notably, incontinent action and self-deception—pose such difficult theoretical problems that philosophers have rejected them as logically or psychologically impossible. Here, Mele shows that, and how, incontinent action and self-deception are indeed possible. Drawing upon recent experimental work in the psychology of action and inference, he advances naturalized explanations of akratic action and self-deception while resolving the paradoxes around which the philosophical literature revolves. In addition, he defends an account of self-control, argues that "strict" akratic action is an insurmountable obstacle for traditional belief-desire models of action-explanation, and explains how a considerably modified model accommodates action of this sort.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A clear and careful analysis....Rigorously argumentative and will be appreciated not only by philosophers specially concerned with the problems of akratic action, but also by those with a general interest in intentionality and the philosophy of action."—Review of Metaphysics

"A fascinating seminal contribution....This is a strikingly useful work....Highly recommended for all philosophy and psychology collections."—Choice

"A useful book, clearly written and argued and felicitous in example....It is a first-rate survey of the various contemporary positions on the problems at hand and the weakness of each."—Ethics

"Mele provides us with a host of helpful examples, including ones from the psychological literature, on which to test theories and hone intuitions, provides clear and insightful discussions of the various theories advanced in the philosophical literature, and has interesting positive accounts of his own to offer....I recommend the book to any serious work on self-deception, and most particularly to teachers of advanced courses on the topic."—Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

"Clearly presented and readable."—The Philosophical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195080018
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/28/1992
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.19 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Davidson College
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