A crisis of commitment

A reasonable line of thought can give rise to a crisis of commitment: Many a commitment requires persistence or willpower, especially in the face of temptation. A straightforward example is the
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A reasonable line of thought can give rise to a crisis of commitment: Many a commitment requires persistence or willpower, especially in the face of temptation. A straightforward example is the decision to quit smoking; another is the promise to be faithful to someone for the rest of one’s life. However, when we consider making such a commitment, we are often in a position to anticipate that we will be exposed to temptation and to realize that following through would require persistence or willpower. But this means that we may not be in a position to predict that we will follow through. Yet if we are not in a position to predict that we will follow through, then—so the reasonable line of thought goes—we are not entitled to make the commitment. After all, if we cannot say that we will persist, then how could we make the commitment to do it? And what would making the commitment consist in, if not at least in saying that we will persist? This line of thought is especially pressing if in. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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