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Jul 28, 2021
This week’s theme
There’s a word for it

This week’s words
misericord
contrafactum
akrasia
aquabib
eidolon

akrasia
Illustration: Viktor Hertz

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

akrasia

PRONUNCIATION:
(uh-KRAY-zh/zhee-uh)

MEANING:
noun: The lack of will or self-control resulting in one acting against one’s better judgment.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek akretes (powerless), from a- (without) + kratos (power, strength). Earliest documented use: 1806. The adjective form is akratic.

NOTES:
A well-known experiment in akrasia is the Marshmallow Experiment which tested children’s ability to self-control for delayed gratification. Those who were able to wait for rewards tended to have greater success in life.

USAGE:
“By better ordering your thoughts you become less susceptible to the weakness of akrasia, [Steven Nadler] writes in his latest book, ‘Think Least of Death: Spinoza on How to Live and How to Die’.”
Joe Humphreys; A Philosophical New Year Resolution for Reason Over Self-Gratification; Irish Times (Dublin); Dec 31, 2020.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste. -Marcel Duchamp, artist (28 Jul 1887-1968)

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