Date of Completion
Honors College Thesis
Collective Action, Weakness of Will, Philosophy of Action, Group Agents, Collective Attitudes
In my thesis, I will attempt to define and analyze the concept of collective weakness of will. The idea of weakness of will, which is often called akrasia, is defined as acting against your better judgement. Most of the existing research on weakness of will is focused on the individual, but I’d like to explore it on a larger scale. Similar to the individual, groups sometimes seem to act intentionally against their better judgement. First, I will introduce the concept of collective weakness of will with practical examples in Section I. In Section II, I will present Philip Pettit’s account of collective weakness of will and explain why it is imperfect. Although his account is important, I ultimately reject it. For this reason, I proceed to develop an alternate theory of collective weakness of will. This involves an analysis of the literature on weakness of will, found in Section III, and theories on collective attitudes and action, found in Section IV. I summarize these findings in Section V, along with a theory of collective weakness of will and return to the examples presented in the introduction.
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Doyle, Megan Dalton, "Analyzing and Defining Collective Weakness of Will" (2022). UVM Honors College Senior Theses. 461.