Harry Frankfurt 's Arguments And Discuss His Concepts Concerning Freewill And Determinism

1198 Words Dec 11th, 2015 5 Pages
In this paper, I will investigate Harry Frankfurt’s arguments and discuss his concepts concerning freewill and determinism as presented in "Freedom of Will and the Concept of Person". Frankfurt presents as well as makes justifiable assertions on several of his arguments, however a few of his reasoning seem to be problematic. I will argue that his arguments are not cogent and are shown to be contradictory. Additionally, I will demonstrate that we are not caused to have freewill or to be free as well as illustrate how his claims on the relationship between freewill and moral responsibility contravenes each other. Frankfurt begins by introducing several crucial definitions. He defines the term ‘first-order desires’ as a desire to act or do something (such as eating, exercising or reading). ‘Second-order desires’ are desires to want certain things (such as wanting to eat healthier foods because it leads to a better and healthy lifestyle). He then defines a ‘will’ or a ‘first-order volition’ as a first-order desire, which has been effective because it has caused one to carry it into action and a ‘second-order volition’ as a desire that a first-order desire becomes one’s will and is actually brought into action.
Furthermore, Frankfurt differentiates and defines a ‘person’ from other species by explaining that only humans have the capability to question as well as self-reflect on their desires hence having ‘second-order desires’ and ‘second-order volitions’. He also defines…

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