Rebecca Roache at IAI News:
It might feel pretty obvious to you that you’re weak-willed. You feel it, after all – every time you find yourself hitting the snooze button on the alarm when you know you ought to get out of bed; every time you scroll through cat videos on Instagram when you know you ought to be writing; every time you help yourself to a third slice of cake when you know you ought to order a kale smoothie instead. When you find yourself in these situations, there’s often a bit of shame, a bit of guilt, a bit of frustration. In many cases, the subsequent conviction that we’re weak-willed shapes our entire approach to motivating ourselves.
Yet it might not be that simple. There’s a very long history in philosophy of being puzzled by the mere possibility of weakness of will. If it’s really the case, as it seems to be in the sorts of situation I’ve just mentioned, that we sincerely believe that a particular choice is the right one to make, all things considered, then how is it possible that we can voluntarily do something else? How is it possible to hit the snooze button when the alarm goes off when what we really want, all things considered, is to get out of bed?