Ideas of Harry G. Frankfurt, by Theme

[American, b.1929, At Yale University, then at Princeton University.]

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10. Modality / A. Necessity / 9. Normative Necessity
Love creates a necessity concerning what to care about
16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 6. Self as Higher Awareness
Persons are distinguished by a capacity for second-order desires
A person essentially has second-order volitions, and not just second-order desires
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 1. Nature of Free Will
Free will is the capacity to choose what sort of will you have
20. Action / B. Preliminaries of Action / 2. Willed Action / a. Will to Act
The will is the effective desire which actually leads to an action
20. Action / B. Preliminaries of Action / 2. Willed Action / c. Agent causation
Freedom of action needs the agent to identify with their reason for acting [Wilson/Schpall]
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 1. Nature of Value / d. Subjective value
It is by caring about things that we infuse the world with importance
If you don't care about at least one thing, you can't find reasons to care about anything
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 1. Nature of Value / f. Ultimate value
Our criteria for evaluating how to live offer an answer to the problem
What is worthwhile for its own sake alone may be worth very little
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 2. Values / f. Love
Rather than loving things because we value them, I think we value things because we love them
Love can be cool, and it may not involve liking its object
The paradigm case of pure love is not romantic, but that between parents and infants
I value my children for their sake, but I also value my love for them for its own sake
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 2. Happiness / d. Routes to happiness
We might not choose a very moral life, if the character or constitution was deficient
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 3. Pleasure / a. Nature of pleasure
People want to fulfill their desires, but also for their desires to be sustained
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / d. Ethical theory
Ranking order of desires reveals nothing, because none of them may be considered important
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / g. Moral responsibility
A 'wanton' is not a person, because they lack second-order volitions
A person may be morally responsible without free will
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / b. Rational ethics
Morality isn't based on reason; moral indignation is quite unlike disapproval of irrationality
23. Ethics / A. Egoism / 1. Ethical Egoism
Loving oneself is not a failing, but is essential to a successful life
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 4. Boredom
Boredom is serious, not just uncomfortable; it threatens our psychic survival
25. Social Practice / A. Freedoms / 5. Freedom of lifestyle
Freedom needs autonomy (rather than causal independence) - embracing our own desires and choices