Monday, February 27, 2017
Topics for exam #2 (MINITERM)
2- "Hierarchical Compatibilism:
Harry Frankfurt postulates first and second order desires; then there are second order volitions.
Remember: A first order desire is directed to an object or state of affairs; a second order desire is a desire about a desire; a second order volition is a second order desire on which wants to act.
Then Harry Frankfurt's three drug addicts: Let's call a first order desire: FOD, a second order desire: SOD, a second order volition: SOV. So we get the following:
Wanton addict: FOD, not SOD, not SOV, not free.
Happy Addict: FOD, SOD, SOV, free.
Unwilling Addict: FOD, SOD (only this desire is against his taking the drug), SOV, but now he cannot act on these SOV, so he's not free). Remember, to be free one has to either formulate a SOV or be able to act on it.
Punishment: How do compatibilists see punishment? look at p. 203. Punishment cannot be retributive (eye-for-an-eye). The only legitimate way of punishment is rehabilitation and deterrence. Criminal actions are dictated by genes and habits (nature and nurture). Retributive punishment makes sense if it's deserved. But nothing people do is up to them.
You should know the difference between "event causation" and "agent causation."
synaptic activity is event causation. mental states causing synaptic activity is agent causation.
Libertarianism holds that agents can cause events. How? Well, this is how the mind causes actions. There are two arguments here:
Argument from Experience. Argument from deliberation. In class I called it argument from experience, because you experience it from the inside. You feel you wanted to come to class, you got ready, drove through rush hour and got to the class on time. You feel you chose that. You are responsible for that action.
Read pages 216 and 217! For the libertarian if the wants you act on are not yours, you are not free and therefore not responsible. If you declared nursing as a major because it's the dream of your parents that doesn't automatically make you free.That may not be your desire. In fact you may not even know what you really want!
Libet's Neurophysiological challenge: it seems to show that consciousness of a decision arises only after the decision has already been made (the 300 millisecond gap between the decision to press the button and the brain signal). Rebuttal by libertarians: There's a difference between making a "conscious decision" and a "meta-conscious decision" (meta-conscious awareness is second order). For the libertarian, the subject in Libet's report is not having a "conscious" but a "meta-conscious" decision. So it's no surprise that it happens "after" the conscious decision was made.