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Christopher Sipe 050804 Philosophy 101 Prof M Gligarov First-order Desires and Second-order Volitions In his Freedom of Will and Concept of a Person Harry Frankfurt asserts that the common philosophical approach to the concept of a person is wrong as it interferes with his own perception Frankfurt mentions Strawsons definition the concept of a type of entity such that both predicates ascribing states of consciousness and predicates ascribing corporeal characteristics are equally applicable to a single individual of that single type In contrast to Strawson Frankfurt alleges that a person must have both a first-order desire and second-order desire or volition to be a person A first-order desire is simply a desire to do or not to do one or another A second-order desire is when a person wants to simply have a certain desire or when a person wants a certain desire to be his will Frankfurt tells us that second-order volitions are the latter of the two second-order definitions wants a certain desire to be his will Many would question what second-order desires have to do with this work on freedom of will In his own words Frankfurt explains For it is only in virtue of his rational capabilities that a person is capable of becoming critically aware of his own will and of forming volitions of the second order This means that only a creature with the capabilities of reason can realize that it has its own will and can make volitions of the second order and thus is a person To explain better the notion of a person Frankfurt calls upon an example of two narcotic addicts called the wanton addict and the unwilling addict A wanton plainly stated are Agents who have first-order desires but who are not persons because whether or not they have desires of the second order they have no second order volitions The essential characteristic of a wanton is that he
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