1 what is so special about second order desires why

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1. What is so special about second-order desires? Why stop at the second level? Why don't third-order desires matter? 2. Suppose that hypnotic suggestion can affect not only our first-order desires but also our second-order desires. Suppose then that I am hypnotized not only to want to poison John but also to want to want to poison John. If I poison John, have I acted freely? October 30, 2012: Frankfurt, Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibilities Classical argument against free will P1: If determinism is true, then all events (including our actions) are necessitated by prior events. P2: If our actions are necessitated by prior events, then we could not have acted otherwise. P3: Free will exists only if we could have acted otherwise. P4: Determinism is true. Conclusion: there is no free will Hard determinism: accepts P1-P4 Libertarianism: rejects P4 Soft determinism (compatibilism) : rejects P3 Argument against moral responsibility P1: If determinism is true, then all events (including our actions) are necessitated by prior events. P2: If our actions are necessitated by prior events, then we could not have acted otherwise. P3: Moral responsibility exists only if we could have acted otherwise. P4: Determinism is true. Conclusion: There is no moral responsibility. Frankfurt: reject P3 → Principle of Alternate Possibilities Principle of Alternate Possibilities
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“A person is morally responsible for what he had done only if he [/she] could have done otherwise” (829) PAP is false. Appeal of PAP PAP is the result of three intuitive/commonsensical statements: 1. One is blameworthy for doing X only if one ought to not do X. 2. One ought not to do X if one is able not to do X. 3. One is able not to do X if one can do otherwise than X. Result: One is blameworthy for doing X only if one can do otherwise than X. (PAP) The four faces of Jones General scenario: “Jones decides for reasons of his own to do something (rob a bank), then someone threatens him with a very harsh punishment (so harsh that any reasonable person would submit to the threat) unless he does precisely that and Jones does it. Will we hold Jones morally responsible for what he has done? Jones1: Jones1 is unreasonable. The threat has no effect on him. He will do whatever he has decided to do regardless of what happens after he has made his decision and regardless of the cost of his action. Is Jones1 morally responsible for robbing the bank? Frankfurt: yes. Jones2: Jones 2 is “stampeded” by the threat. He is upset by the threat so much that he no longer remembers his earlier plans. Nothing matters to him now but the threat. Is Jones2 morally responsible for robbing the bank? Frankfurt: No. (p. 832) Jones3: Jones3 was neither “stampeded” by the threat nor indifferent to it. He had a prior motivation to perform the action (i.e., rob the bank) but if he did not have that prior motivation the threat would have caused him to perform the act. (p. 832) has no alternative Suppose that Jones3 robs the bank. Is he morally responsible?
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