Akrasia and Practical Rationality: A Phenomenological Approach

  • Takashi YoshikawaEmail author
Part of the Contributions To Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 101)


Akrasia, or weakness of will, has been a significant philosophical problem since the time of Ancient Greek philosophy. Unfortunately, this topic has not been treated systematically in the phenomenological tradition. This paper seeks to redress this situation through a critical assessment of contemporary approaches to the problem of akrasia in light of a proposed phenomenological analysis. As this paper argues, a phenomenological approach over-comes an intellectualism often found in discussions of akrasia while identifying its distinctive kind of rationality. This paper further argues that there are no perfectly self-regulating agents and that weak-willed agents are able to vindicate their moral sanity.


Action Agency Akrasia Emotion Practical rationality Weakness of will 



I would like to thank Andrew Oberg (University of Kochi) for his informative comment. This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number (26370027, 17K02178).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Cultural StudiesUniversity of KochiKochiJapan

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