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Akrasia and the Desire to Become Someone Else: Venturinha on Moral Matters


This paper discusses practical akrasia from the perspective of the sophisticated form of moral subjectivism that can be derived from Nuno Venturinha’s (2018) remarks on moral matters.

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  1. 1.

    Note that this requirement is weaker than a knowledge norm for belief like Williamson’s (2000), according to which one may believe to p only if she knows it.

  2. 2.

    It is interesting to note that cases of epistemic akrasia seem much more difficult to find (Hurley 1993; Pettit and Smith 1996; Adler 2002; Owens 2002; Raz 2011). My suggestion is that this is so because epistemic reasons for (full) belief do not conflict with each other, unlike practical reasons: if a subject concludes that she has decisive reasons to fully believe that p, then she cannot rationally recognize the existence of (weighty) contrary reasons to disbelieve it. See González de Prado (2019).

  3. 3.

    For further discussion of higher-order desires in connection with akrasia, see for example Mele (1992); Pérez Carballo (2018).

  4. 4.

    For the sake of simplicity, let us stipulate that there is no alternative available action the subject desires to approve of.

  5. 5.

    This work has been supported by the Spanish Government research project FFI2017–89639-P and the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology project PTDC/MHC-FIL/0521/2014 (“Values in Argumentative Discourse”). Thanks to Nuno Venturinha and to the participants in a symposium on his book Descriptions of Situations at NOVA University of Lisbon.


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Correspondence to Javier González de Prado.

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González de Prado, J. Akrasia and the Desire to Become Someone Else: Venturinha on Moral Matters. Philosophia (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11406-019-00140-1

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  • Akrasia
  • Moral subjectivism
  • Response-dependence
  • Venturinha