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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-L089-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved March 21, 2018, from

Article Summary

A human person or self possesses powers that can come into conflict. Reason may have to struggle to overcome contrary desire. Self-control may be characterized as the ability to regulate or resolve such conflict correctly. A well-ordered self has self-control; a disordered self lacks it. When an agent lacks self-control, inner conflict often results in the victory of evil over good. Philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, and Kant have painted portraits of the disordered self. They are alike in portraying its actions as stemming from appetites or desires that are not properly ruled by some ‘higher part’ of the self. These philosophers have also proposed accounts of the well-ordered self. They are alike in depicting it as a self in which a part of the self connected with reason or wisdom governs a ‘lower part’ associated with appetites or desires.

Citing this article:
Quinn, Philip L.. Self-control, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-L089-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2018 Routledge.

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