Review of: Alfred Mele’s Autonomous Agents (Oxford University Press, 1995)

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Terrance C. McConnell, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Part 1 of Autonomous Agents develops a conception of an ideally self-controlled person and argues that such a person can fall short of personal autonomy. Part 2 addresses what must be added to self-control in order to yield autonomy. Chapter 1 explains that akrasia is a trait of character exhibited in uncompelled, intentional behavior that goes against the agent's best judgment. The contrary trait, self-control, is exhibited in behavior that conforms to best judgment in the face of temptation. Self-controlled individuals possess both significant motivation to conduct themselves as they judge best and a capacity to do what it takes so to conduct themselves. Self-control may be regional or global, and it comes in degrees. It is important because, though decisive better judgments are formed on the basis of our evaluation of the objects of desire, the motivational force of our desires is not always in accord with our evaluations.

Additional Information

Ethics 107(2) (January), pp. 346-349.
Language: English
Date: 1997
Autonomy, Book review, Philosophy

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