On Willing Surrender as Virtuous Self-Constitution

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10283854


Bennett Gilbert 

Portland State University (bbg2@pdx.edu; Orcid: 0000-0001-8295-3216). 


Abstract: Our cultural situation is to seek a moral form of self-constitution, rather than an ontological or epistemological foundation. Such a moral ground lies in the paradox of willing surrender of the will to do wrong or dysfunctional acts in order to enter temporally-extended processes of moral change. But the paradox of willing surrender of the will requires analysis. The propositional form of it cannot be sustained and must instead give way to willingness as an ongoing choice. The self-reflexivity of the will with which we accomplish this turns out to be a core activity of human activity that seeks openness to moral growth through humility. The paper suggests that self-constitution in this manner this is what freedom is for us and is therefore the source of our hope. 
Keywords: Addiction; Conversion; Moral Philosophy; Personhood; Subjectivity; Surrender; Twelve Steps; Volition. 

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