Analysis Of Harry Frankfurt 's ' Freedom Of The Will And The Concept Of `` The Person ``

Analysis Of Harry Frankfurt 's ' Freedom Of The Will And The Concept Of `` The Person ``

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Harry Frankfurt is a refined and well known philosopher who has considered the issue of freedom through thought. Or in other words the debate on free will. Frankfurt has been claimed and is well known for being considered a traditional compatibilist. Frankfurt believes that there is a difference between freedom of an action chosen by the person and the freedom to commit the action through self will. Frankfurt explains this using many examples. In Frankfurt’s “Freedom of the Will and the Concept of the Person” he discusses the difference between a person and an animal. In Frankfurt’s opinion animals are only capable of first order desires and this sets them apart from people who are capable of second order desires (Frankfurt,1) . In Frankfurt’s work he talks about the idea of free will and states that individuals whom have chosen to do things or participate in certain activities through their own self will or choice, have free will. In Frankfurt’s work he mentions how when someone (refers to them as “A”) completes an action which is (“X”) based on internal desires, may not choose to do that action and may choose to do otherwise (Frankfurt, 1-2). In other words, the desire can and may move someone to do a certain action because the desire is so great, but can also have no effect. However, in Frankfurt’s writing he discusses free choice, addicts who suffer first order desires, second order desires and wanton addicts (Frankfurt, 2-5). He also states that if someone is pushed or forced to make a decision or commit an action then that is not freedom of choice or free will. He comes up with something he calls “second order volitions”, which is essentially when a person wants their first order desire to be fulfilled according to their o...


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...esire) but I also didn’t want a cat (second order desire) but because of the consequences of having a cat (I.e. the hair and cleaning) I chose instead to not get a cat. This level of reasoning or judgement of desires is not apparent among animals which help to set apart people from animals. However, animals are only capable (according to Frankfurt) of first order desires ad lack second order desires. This means that the animal doesn’t truly have a choice and that they give in to their desire without thought. When looking at other theories on free will, Edwards and Frankfurt’s theories seem to contrast the most. Edwards is a determinist who argues that the mind is responsible for all action and that an action of self will is the same as a choice. Frankfurt’s theory is a complete contrast to Edwards’. And is a much more probable outcome than what Frankfurt proposes.

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Analysis Of Harry Frankfurt 's ' Freedom Of The Will And The Concept Of `` The Person ``

- Harry Frankfurt is a refined and well known philosopher who has considered the issue of freedom through thought. Or in other words the debate on free will. Frankfurt has been claimed and is well known for being considered a traditional compatibilist. Frankfurt believes that there is a difference between freedom of an action chosen by the person and the freedom to commit the action through self will. Frankfurt explains this using many examples. In Frankfurt’s “Freedom of the Will and the Concept of the Person” he discusses the difference between a person and an animal....   [tags: Free will, Determinism, Drug addiction]

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