Irrationality: An Essay on Akrasia, Self-Deception, and Self-Control

Paperback | August 1, 1995

byAlfred R. Mele

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Although much human action serves as proof that irrational behavior is remarkably common, certain forms of irrationality--most notably, incontinent action and self-deception--pose such difficult theoretical problems that philosophers have rejected them as logically or psychologicallyimpossible. Here, Mele shows that, and how, incontinent action and self-deception are indeed possible. Drawing upon recent experimental work in the psychology of action and inference, he advances naturalized explanations of akratic action and self-deception while resolving the paradoxes aroundwhich the philosophical literature revolves. In addition, he defends an account of self-control, argues that "strict" akratic action is an insurmountable obstacle for traditional belief-desire models of action-explanation, and explains how a considerably modified model accommodates action of thissort.

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Although much human action serves as proof that irrational behavior is remarkably common, certain forms of irrationality--most notably, incontinent action and self-deception--pose such difficult theoretical problems that philosophers have rejected them as logically or psychologicallyimpossible. Here, Mele shows that, and how, incontin...

Alfred R. Mele is at Davidson College.

other books by Alfred R. Mele

Self-Deception Unmasked
Self-Deception Unmasked

Kobo ebook|Nov 13 2000

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see all books by Alfred R. Mele
Format:PaperbackDimensions:200 pages, 8.19 × 5.51 × 0.55 inPublished:August 1, 1995Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195080017

ISBN - 13:9780195080018

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"The writing is lively and accessible; the argument is crisp and clear....There is a wealth of instructive examples from everyday life. But a striking feature of the book is its bold and elegant appropriation of the relevant recent work in experimental psychology....By juxtaposing andmapping the 'folk' and experimental psychology of irrationality, Mele expands our view of the terrain and deepens our understanding."--Canadian Philosophical Review