John Schwenkler will be giving a talk titled: “How Temptation Works” on Friday, February 4, in 140 DeBartolo Hall at 3:00 pm.
For more information on Prof. Schwenkler, please visit his website.
Recent philosophical discussions have portrayed succumbing to temptation as a matter of unreasonably revising a prior intention or resolution -- as when, for example, you ask for a second glass of wine at dinner despite the earlier decision to have just one. I argue that this way of describing temptation overlooks a distinct phenomenon, in which a person violates a prior intention but without ever revising it. In cases of this kind, the force of temptation is in persuading a person that, really, doing the tempting thing isn't a violation of their prior resolve. Having highlighted this distinction, I argue further that recognizing that temptation can take this form has important consequences for our understanding of how to resist it.