Marcela Herdova, Stephen Kearns, Neil Levy

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Self-control is a fundamental part of what it is to be a human being. It poses important philosophical and psychological questions about the nature of belief, motivation, judgment, and decision making. More immediately, failures of self-control can have high costs, resulting in ill-health, loss of relationships, and even violence and death, whereas strong self-control is also often associated with having a virtuous character. What exactly is self-control? If we lose control can we still be free? Can we be held responsible for loss of self-control? In this thorough and clearly written introduction to the philosophy of self-control the authors examine and assess the following topics and questions: The importance of self-control What is self-control? Self-control and the law of desire Mechanisms of self-control How is it possible to lose self-control? Blameworthiness and (the loss of) self-control Externalist self-control Pathologies of self-control. Combining philosophical analysis with surveys of the latest psychological research, and including chapter summaries, suggestions for further reading, and a glossary of key terms, Self-Control is essential reading for students of philosophy of mind and psychology, moral psychology, free will, and ethics. It will also be of interest to those in related fields such as psychology and cognitive science.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon ; New York
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Number of pages234
ISBN (Electronic)9781351124713, 9781351124720
ISBN (Print)9780815357315, 9780815357346
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameNew Problems of Philosophy


Dive into the research topics of 'Self-control'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this