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The Thief of TimePhilosophical Essays on Procrastination$
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Chrisoula Andreou and Mark D. White

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195376685

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195376685.001.0001

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Is Procrastination Weakness of Will?

Is Procrastination Weakness of Will?

(p.51) 3 Is Procrastination Weakness of Will?
The Thief of Time

Sarah Stroud (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates whether procrastination is a species of weakness of will. Procrastination resembles weakness of will: the procrastinating agent is not doing x even though he in some sense thinks he ought to be. However, the more precise characterizations of weakness of will that have been developed in the literature do not capture the full range of cases of procrastination. Is procrastination simply a variety of akrasia? No, because akrasia is a purely synchronic phenomenon, whereas procrastination is poor performance in the management of one’s agency over time. On a recent revisionist account from Holton and McIntyre, weakness of will centrally involves a failure to act on antecedently formed intentions. But this account, even though diachronic, cannot cover all cases of procrastination, either: weakness of will in this sense is exclusively a defect in plan implementation, whereas procrastination is sometimes constituted by defects in plan drafting and adoption.

Keywords:   akrasia, diachronic, intention, plan, procrastination, synchronic, weakness of will

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