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Willing, Wanting, Waiting *

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image of Journal of Moral Philosophy

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.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Philosophy, U-Wisconsin at Milwaukee, ferrero@uwm.edu

10.1163/17455243-00903007
/content/journals/10.1163/17455243-00903007
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/content/journals/10.1163/17455243-00903007
2012-01-01
2016-09-29

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