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Surrounding Self-Control$
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Alfred R. Mele

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197500941

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197500941.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 December 2021

Achieving Goals by Imposing Risk

Achieving Goals by Imposing Risk

(p.275) 15 Achieving Goals by Imposing Risk
Surrounding Self-Control

Katherine Hawley

Oxford University Press

When one is struggling to get motivated, one sometimes turns to social accountability strategies: telling others about one’s plans, or even promising to stick to them, in the hope that publicity will help achieve one’s goals. In this chapter, the author distinguishes four different strategies for social accountability, which vary in the content and strength of the commitments they involve. The chapter then explores different ways these strategies put one’s own interests, and those of others, on the line. When other people’s interests are at stake, this raises ethical questions about whether it is permissible to risk harm to others in order to achieve one’s own goals. The chapter shows how this can fruitfully be thought of as a problem within the morality of risk imposition. But, finally, it also argues that thinking in terms of risk imposition does not capture everything one cares about in the ethics of social accountability.

Keywords:   self-control, promises, accountability, obligation, risk

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