Definition of akrasia in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈkreɪzɪə/
Pronunciation: /əˈkrasɪə/
(also acrasia)


[mass noun] chiefly Philosophy
The state of mind in which someone acts against their better judgement through weakness of will.
Example sentences
  • 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.



Example sentences
  • And he clearly indicates that it is possible for an akratic person to be defeated by a weak pathos - the kind that most people would easily be able to control.
  • Given the causal force of the various desires to which they are actually subject, together with their actual beliefs, it turns out that akratic agents simply lack the capacity to do what they judge best.
  • The classification of action, for instance, into rational, impulsive, akratic (based on weakness of will), irrational and insane modes is a model of conceptual precision.


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

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: akra¦sia

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