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The Thief of TimePhilosophical Essays on Procrastination$
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Chrisoula Andreou and Mark D. White

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195376685

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195376685.001.0001

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The Vice of Procrastination

The Vice of Procrastination

(p.130) 8 The Vice of Procrastination
The Thief of Time

Sergio Tenenbaum (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The aim of this chapter is to give a more precise characterization of the type of irrationality that is involved in procrastination. The chapter argues that in order to understand the irrationality of procrastination, one needs to make room in one’s theory of practical reason for the possibility of “top-down independent” policies and long-term actions. A policy (or long-term action) is top-down independent if it is possible to act irrationally relative to the adoption of the policy without ever engaging in a momentary action that is irrational considered on its own. Once we allow for this possibility, we can characterize an executive virtue that is necessary to carry out top-down independent policies—namely, the virtue of practical judgment. Procrastination turns out to be one of the vices corresponding to the virtue of practical judgment.

Keywords:   instrumental rationality, irrationality, policies, practical judgment, practical reason, procrastination, top-down independence, vagueness, vice, virtue

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