Self-Control and Decision-Making
This chapter explores the relationship between self-control and decision-making. In particular, it examines various problems with the idea that agents can (and do) exercise self-control over their decisions. Two facts about decisions give rise to these problems. First, decisions do not result from intentions to make those very decisions. Second, decisions are often made when agents are uncertain what to do, and thus when agents lack best judgments. On the common understanding of self-control as an ability to act in line with an intention or best judgment (in the face of counter-motivation), decisions are not, and perhaps cannot, be the subject of self-control. In light of this, the authors propose that this common conception of self-control needs revision. As well as commitment-based self-control, they argue that there is also non-commitment-based self-control—the type of self-control over an action that need not involve any prior evaluative or executive commitment.
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