Ethical Perspectives 5 (1):36-43 (1998)

Willem Lemmens
University of Antwerp
In his moral psychology, Prof. Frankfurt pays special attention to two strongly related issues which should be given pride of place in every genuine account of human action and behaviour: these issues are the problem of personal autonomy and what I would like to call the problem of self-constitution. The first concerns the question what it means to be a fully human, rational agent, i.e., someone who is accountable for and in one way or another conscious of what he does and desires; the second concerns the question how human beings become selves or persons with a particular identity, i.e., somebody who is not only accountable for and conscious of his or her own deeds, desires and preferences at a given time, but also able to identify with his or her personal life-history, as a through time related structure of deeds, beliefs, volitions, preferences and desires.In the following, I shall first of all formulate a rather free interpretation of the important and penetrating reflections of Prof. Frankfurt on the concept of care, which, as I understand it, accounts for the interdependence of autonomy and self-constitution. I shall then formulate a critical reflection and some related questions, more or less inspired by Charles Taylor’s investigations of the constitution of the self and the problem of rational autonomy. As is well known, Taylor has been partly influenced by Frankfurt’s writings on these issues, but of course — and that’s what my questions will be about — I leave it to Prof. Frankfurt to determine how well Taylor’s suggestive account of the constitution of the authentic self fits the Frankfurtian descriptive metaphysics of human mind and action.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2143/EP.5.1.563106
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,231
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Second-Order Desire Accounts of Autonomy.Dennis Loughrey - 1998 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 6 (2):211 – 229.
Autonomy and Hierarchy.Michael E. Bratman - 2003 - Social Philosophy and Policy 20 (2):156-176.
Frankfurt and Cuypers on Decisive Identification.Herat Shamindra - 1999 - Ethical Perspectives 6 (2):183-188.
Über Zwang.Peter Baumann - 2000 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie:71-84.
Autonomy Under Threat: A Revised Frankfurtian Account.Thomas Nys - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (1):3 – 17.
Ends and Endings.Alasdair Macintyre - 2014 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 88 (4):807-821.


Added to PP index

Total views
28 ( #410,524 of 2,518,147 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #408,577 of 2,518,147 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes