Article/Publication Details

With Time: <em>akrasia</em> and Intertemporal Strategies

(Original title: S odstupom času: akrasia a intemporálne stratégie)
Filozofia, 2020, vol. 75, No 10, pp. 861 – 872.
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Abstract

Intertemporal decision making research in the fields of psychology and behavioral economy (Mischel et al. 1972, Kahneman & Tversky 1979, Loewenstein & Prelec 1992, O’Donoghue & Rabin 1999) shows that people are less concerned about distant future benefits than about outcomes that arrives sooner. Although the economy of “sooner rather than later”, i. e. focus on shortterm utility, may have good evolutionary explanation mainly in the past, it can be also, if connected with other factors, one of the main factors of contemporary environmental crisis, as well as unwillingness to do something. The aim of this paper is to examine the phenomenon of time preference in relation to the philosophical concept of akrasia or weakness of will, and show to what degree rational argumentation and cognitive strategies of delayed gratification can be useful in this direction. According to the pessimistic scenario the time distant and abstract nature of the global risks must not evoke sufficient reactions in the form of behavioral changes (motivate people to the longterm strategies). If so, then either a kind of paternalist intervention or direct personal experience of permanent crisis is needed.

Keywords

Akrasia, Delayed satisfaction, Environmental crisis, Intertemporal startegies, Irrationality, Self-control