First Order Desires And Second Order Volitions... Based On Harry Frankfurt's "Freedom Of The Will And Concept Of A Person".... I'm Really Proud Of This Paper, But The Teacher Only Gave A B T T

779 words - 4 pages

Christopher Sipe05/08/04Philosophy 101Prof. M. GligarovFirst-order Desires and Second-order VolitionsIn his Freedom of Will and Concept of a Person, Harry Frankfurt asserts that the common philosophical approach to the concept of a person is wrong, as it interferes with his own perception. Frankfurt mentions Strawson's definition: "the concept of a type of entity such that both predicates ascribing states of consciousness and predicates ascribing corporeal characteristics . . . are equally applicable to a single individual of that single type." In contrast to Strawson, Frankfurt alleges that a person must have both a first-order desire and second-order desire or volition to be a person.A ...view middle of the document...

"The unwilling addict hates his addiction and constantly struggles to evade it, yet ultimately failing to do so. In the unwilling addict's case, there is a first-order desire conflict: he has both the desire to take the drug and the desire against taking the drug. And now we must realize that the unwilling addict is a person according to Frankfurt's definition of the concept of a person: the unwilling addict has a second-order volition which is that he wants his desire to stop taking the narcotic to be his will.The wanton addict is not a person, but a creature ruled by his first-order desires. The wanton addict's "actions reflect the economy of his first-order desires, without his being concerned whether the desires that move him to act are desires by which he wants to act." It "never occurs to him whether he wants the relation among his desires to result in his having the will he has," or in more basic terms the wanton addict has no second-order volitions.Contrary to what most would believe, the wanton addict is a creature but may still...

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