David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
International Journal of Philosophical Studies 6 (2):211 – 229 (1998)
The autonomous person is one who has, in some sense, mastery over their desires. The prevailing way to understand such personal autonomy is in terms of a hierarchy of desires. For Harry Frankfurt, persons not only have first-order desires, but possess the additional capacity to form second-order desires. Second-order desires are formed through reflection on first-order desires and are thus expressive of the rational capacity which is characteristic of persons. Frankfurt's account of freedom of the will is founded on his analysis of persons. It is only because persons possess second-order desires, resulting from their capacity for rational evaluation of first-order desires, that persons (and not those Frankfurt calls 'wantons') are well placed to possess freedom of will. Various objections have been raised in the literature against such second-order desire accounts of freedom of the will or autonomy. In my article, I raise the problem of instrumental second-order desires. I discuss the forms instrumental second-order desires can take and attempt to show that these cannot be the second-order desires that Frankfurt has in mind in his account. I then extend my critique by looking at non-instrumental second-order desires. I consider various forms which non-instrumental second-order desires can take and advance the argument that Frankfurt cannot have second-order desires such as these in mind either. Finally, I note that none of the suggestions considered will deliver a second-order desire account of autonomy, and that it is baffling just what Frankfurt does have in mind.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Jordi Fernandez (2007). Desire and Self-Knowledge. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (4):517 – 536.
F. Dreckmann (1999). Animal Beliefs and Their Contents. Erkenntnis 51 (1):597-615.
Kris McDaniel & Ben Bradley (2008). Desires. Mind 117 (466):267 - 302.
Michael E. Bratman (2003). A Desire of One's Own. Journal of Philosophy 100 (5):221-42.
Joel Anderson (2008). Disputing Autonomy: Second-Order Desires and the Dynamics of Ascribing Autonomy. SATS 9 (1):7-26.
Alfred R. Mele (1992). Akrasia, Self-Control, and Second-Order Desires. Noûs 26 (3):281-302.
John J. Davenport (2007). Augustine on Liberty of the Higher-Order Will. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 81:67-89.
Harry G. Frankfurt (1971). Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person. Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads73 ( #18,592 of 1,099,028 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #175,277 of 1,099,028 )
How can I increase my downloads?