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The Problem of Akrasia: Moral Cultivation and Socio-Political Resistance

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Philosophy and the Politics of Animal Liberation

Part of the book series: Political Philosophy and Public Purpose ((POPHPUPU))

Abstract

Akrasia refers to a state, where one knows what the morally sound course of action is, but voluntarily fails to pursue it. According to Plato, akrasia stems from misleading desires and emotions, which muddle the original, rationally produced moral judgement. In order to avoid akrasia, the aim, therefore, would be to cultivate our rational ability. The chapter explores this suggestion from the viewpoint of omnivore’s akrasia—a state wherein one knows consumption of other animals to be wrong, but still takes part in such consumption. It approaches the notion of rational cultivation from an Aristotelian perspective, and argues that since social practices and discourses maintain ambivalence in relation to nonhumans, cultivation cannot take place without wider societal change. Rational animal ethics needs to entwine with social and political transformation.

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Correspondence to Elisa Aaltola .

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Aaltola, E. (2016). The Problem of Akrasia: Moral Cultivation and Socio-Political Resistance. In: Cavalieri, P. (eds) Philosophy and the Politics of Animal Liberation. Political Philosophy and Public Purpose. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-52120-0_5

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