Definition of akrasia in English:



(also acrasia)
  • The state of mind in which someone acts against their better judgment through weakness of will.

    ‘That enviably resilient Bayesian model has been cracked, in the eyes of many philosophers, by such refractory phenomena as akrasia or ‘weakness of will.’’
    • ‘These analogies can be taken to mean that the form of akrasia that Aristotle calls weakness rather than impetuosity always results from some diminution of cognitive or intellectual acuity at the moment of action.’
    • ‘It contains significant discussions of the structure of the will and its relation to the intellect, the nature of human freedom, the phenomenon of akrasia or weakness of will, practical reason, and the unity of the virtues.’
    • ‘A good test for whether the dictum has been developed in this way is a philosopher's account of akrasia, in which agents fail to comply with their deliberated verdicts in the face of temptation.’
    • ‘This was an early example of what the ancients called akrasia, or weakness of will, where we find ourselves doing what we know we shouldn't.’
    • ‘If reason could create or destroy feelings, then Aristotle would not be faced with the problem of akrasia.’



/əˈkrāzēə/ /əˈkreɪziə/


Early 19th century from Greek, from a- ‘without’ + kratos ‘power, strength’. The term is used especially with reference to Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics.