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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: 09 December 2021

Mind Control

Mind Control

Self-Control and Decision-Making

(p.164) 9 Mind Control
Surrounding Self-Control

Marcela Herdova

Stephen Kearns

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   self-control, decision, intention, best judgment, reason

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