Willing, Wanting, Waiting *
In his book Willing, Wanting, Waiting Holton defends a comprehensive view of the will. His central claims are: (i) that we have a capacity of choice, independent of judgment about what is best to do, (ii) that resistance to temptation requires a special kind of intentions, resolutions, and the exercise of an executive capacity, willpower, (iii) there is a distinction between weakness of will and akrasia. I argue that Holton is right about these claims, but I raise a few concerns: (a) I am unclear about the philosophical import of (i); (b) I find that important details in the explanation of the working of willpower vis-à-vis temptation are missing and that there are inconsistencies in his account of addiction; (c) I would have liked a more extensive discussion of other possible defects of will; (d) I am unclear about the scope of the will and the relation of willpower to other executive capacities. I conclude with a brief assessment of the contribution of psychological studies to the philosophical investigation of intentions and the will.