The Review of Austrian Economics

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 43–52

The challenge of akrasia for the theory of rational choice


DOI: 10.1007/s11138-008-0050-8

Cite this article as:
Callahan, G. Rev Austrian Econ (2009) 22: 43. doi:10.1007/s11138-008-0050-8


The phenomenon of akrasia, in which an actor makes a choice she regrets even while choosing it, appears problematic for theories of rational choice, which assume that an agent prefers any chosen course of action. The apparent possibility of akratic action presents a challenge to rational choice theorists, either to demonstrate that it is illusory or to show that akratic action does not violate the axioms of rational choice. The problematic status of akrasia is exhibited most sharply when set against the backdrop of praxeology. Therefore, this paper will explore whether the idea of akratic action can be reconciled with the fundamental principles of praxeology.


Akrasia Rational choice Time preference reversal Behavioral economics 

JEL classification

B21 B41 B53 D01 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PoliticsCardiff UniversityBrooklynUSA

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