Podcast on procrastination, agency, and willpower

Mark D. White

This morning I had a great time recording an iProcrastination podcast with my friend and prominent procastination researcher Timothy Pychyl regarding my chapter "Resisting Procrastination: Kantian Autonomy and the Role of the Will" in The Thief of Time: Philosophical Essays on Procrastination. In our talk, we covered the problems with economic models of procrastination, the Kantian conception of willpower and strength/virtue, and the benefits of combatting procrastination using willpower rather than coping mechanisms. Tim was a fantastic host, and it turned out wonderfully.

And be sure to check out Tim's new book, The Procrastinator's Digest!

New book: The Thief of Time: Philosophical Essays on Procrastination

Mark D. White

WARNING: Indulgent self-promotion ahead! You've been warned...

TOT My latest book, The Thief of Time: Philosophical Essays on Procrastination, edited with Chrisoula Andreou for Oxford University Press, is now available. Working on this book with Chrisoula and the rest of the contributors was a truly wonderful experience, including a terrific meeting of the minds at a workshop hosted by the CUNY Graduate Center in July 2008.

From the book's description:

When we fail to achieve our goals, procrastination is often the culprit. But how exactly is procrastination to be understood? It has been described as imprudent, irrational, inconsistent, and even immoral, but there has been no sustained philosophical debate concerning the topic.

This edited volume starts in on the task of integrating the problem of procrastination into philosophical inquiry. The focus is on exploring procrastination in relation to agency, rationality, and ethics-topics that philosophy is well-suited to address. Theoretically and empirically informed analyses are developed and applied with the aim of shedding light on a vexing practical problem that generates a great deal of frustration, regret, and harm. Some of the key questions that are addressed include the following: How can we analyze procrastination in a way that does justice to both its voluntary and its self-defeating dimensions? What kind of practical failing is procrastination? Is it a form of weakness of will? Is it the product of fragmented agency? Is it a vice? Given the nature of procrastination, what are the most promising coping strategies?

The contributors (in table-of-contents order) are George Ainslie, Don Ross, Sarah Stroud, Duncan MacIntosh, Jon Elster, Olav Gjelsvik, Christine Tappolet, Sergio Tenenbaum, Elijah Millgram, Jennifer Baker, Frank Wieber and Peter Gollwitzer, Chrisoula Andreou, Mark D. White, Joseph Heath and Joel Anderson, and Manuel Utset.