Harry Rottein Free Will Analysis

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Frankfurt and Free Will within Addicts In “Freedom of the Will and the Concept of A Person”, Harry Frankfurt makes the argument that individuals lack moral responsibility for an action if one could not have done otherwise. Frankfurt uses the examples of three addicts: the willing, non-willing and wanton addicts to make his argument that having free will exists if one has identified with their desires. I will argue that Frankfurt’s argument is plausible because having free will may depend on the individual that is being examined, due to different circumstances that come into play. Frankfurt argues that what makes humans a “person” is their “set of characteristics that we generally suppose - whether rightly or wrongly - to be uniquely human” …show more content…
These actions may be done to meet basic human needs, such as looking for a job for the economic benefit or wanting food to satiate one’s hunger. Next, there is the concept of will, which can be classified as a first order desire that allows the individual to carry through with the desired action. It is a need that the individual has identified as being their own. If the individual wants to eat a donut, and follows through with consuming it, they are having an effective first order desire, carrying out the action through their own will. However, there are also second order desires, which Frankfurt describes as the person wanting “simply to have a certain desire or when he wants a certain desire to be his will” (Frankfurt 10). What Frankfurt is trying to say is that the second order desire may correspond with the desire of the first order, wanting a donut, or the will, with eating the donut. The individual may have a second order …show more content…
The first type of addict that he uses is the willing addict, which is described as a person who wants to have the feelings of addiction. An example of the willing addict is a heroin addict, who is addicted to taking heroin and wants to take heroin. He has the first order desire to want heroin, and follows through with taking the heroin, making it a first order effective desire. In terms of having free will, Frankfurt argues that willing addicts do have free will, because the desire to take the drug will be first order effective and correspond with the volition of actually taking the drug. The heroin addict may have both the first order and first order effective desire to take heroin and actually take it. The addict can be considered free because they have the first order desire to want to take heroin, and can decide whether or not they want to take the drugs. Their body is physiologically addicted to the drug, meaning that it will cause them to want to rekindle the need for taking heroin due to areas of the brain which are involved in control are impaired. This implies that the individual will not have the proper judgement in wanting to take the drug, which is their first order desire. The second order desire to want to take the drug has remained in control, and forces them to want to take the drug. The will of the willing addict can be considered partially

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