Willing, Wanting, Waiting by Richard Holton [Book Review]

Journal of Moral Philosophy 9 (3):443-457 (2012)
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In his book Willing, Wanting, Waiting Holton defends a comprehensive view of the will. His central claims are: that we have a capacity of choice, independent of judgment about what is best to do, that resistance to temptation requires a special kind of intentions, resolutions, and the exercise of an executive capacity, willpower, there is a distinction between weakness of will and akrasia. I argue that Holton is right about these claims, but I raise a few concerns: I am unclear about the philosophical import of ; I find that important details in the explanation of the working of willpower vis-à-vis temptation are missing and that there are inconsistencies in his account of addiction; I would have liked a more extensive discussion of other possible defects of will; I am unclear about the scope of the will and the relation of willpower to other executive capac­ities. I conclude with a brief assessment of the contribution of psychological studies to the philosophical investigation of intentions and the will
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