The Vice of Procrastination

In Chrisoula Andreou & Mark White (eds.), The Thief of Time. Oxford University Press (2010)
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The aim of this chapter is to understand more precisely what kind of irrationality involved in procrastination. The chapter argues that in order to understand the irrationality of procrastination one needs to understand the possibility and the nature of what I call “top-down independent” policies and long-term actions. A policy or long-term action) is top-down independent if it is possible to act irrationally relative to the adoption of the policy without ever engaging in a momentary action that is per se irrational. involved in procrastination one needs to It argues that procrastination is one of the corresponding vices of an overlooked virtue; namely, “practical judgment.” On this account, procrastination turns out to be a failure of instrumental rationality that can be so characterized without assuming the correctness of any further norms of practical rationality. Thus this account of procrastination also constitutes an important objection to Christine Korsgaard’s claim that a purely instrumental conception of rationality is incoherent.
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