Essay on Frankfurt And Free Will Within Addicts

1406 Words Nov 18th, 2014 6 Pages
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” (Frankfurt 7). This criteria includes having first order and second order desires, which he states correspond to one another. A first-order desire is defined as a desire to carry out an action. 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,…

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