Blog #21

According to Frankfurt, the difference between a person and an animal is the matter of concern when making a decision. A person is able to deliberate which option they would prefer regardless if it is the best option for their health or well-being. An animal will go with the decision that drives them for satisfaction without thinking about the deeper consequences of their actions. “…A creature without reason my be a person.” but the creature would be unable to reflect on the will of their own desires which would subdue them as an animal.

“His desires move him to do certain things, without it being true of him either that he wants to be moved by those desires or that he prefers to be moved by other desires.”

A rational being will have an order of desires. There will be the first order of their desires which is the primary mission. There will also be a second order of desires that may conflict with the first order. The article examines how a narcotic addict might think. The drug addict will have the main desire to do the drug while the second desire would be to quit doing the drug. The person would consider each option and the decision would be depending on the conflicts of the desires. The addict will be well aware that it may not be a great idea to do the narcotic but will  give in to the higher desire despite the consequences. It will be their decision without an external force trying to persuade one option over the other.

The article discusses how an animal may seem to have a free will however, they do not contain the brain capacity to think out their options. Humans may get frustrated when their desires are being held back by the forces that they have no control of which makes them feel helpless. That does not take away their free will but gives an illusion that their free will is limited.

“A person’s will is only free if he is free to have the will he wants.”

This quote shows how a person’s free will may be limited by the options that are made before them. If they do not have all the options that that person may think of then it is not free will at all. It would be considered to be a freedom of choice of what was given, not what was desired.


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