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Document Details :
Title: Frankfurt and Cuypers on Decisive Identification
Author(s): SHAMINDRA, Herat
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 6 Issue: 2 Date: 1999
That Frankfurt's writings on the will need to be disambiguated is clear enough. That is, unless one unsympathetically rejects Frankfurt's writings as inherently confused or even self-contradictory. Or piously glosses over the more obscure passages which are legion. Of course, a writer of Frankfurt's stature in the contemporary debate on autonomy cannot seriously be treated in this fashion. The ambiguities in his writings demand attention no less than the advancements made, a reader's personal persuasions notwithstanding. Nevertheless, very few writers have gone beyond what have become standard criticisms by now. This is truly regrettable. For the standard criticisms fail to do justice to the complexity of his work. Some headway has recently been made in remedying this state of affairs by Stefaan Cuypers. Assessing the whole of Cuypers' contribution is beyond the scope of this paper in so far as he tackles a very wide range of Frankfurt's concerns and writings. This paper takes a closer look at Cuypers' discussion of the hierarchical model of autonomy commonly associated with Frankfurt. More precisely, we will be concerned with the model as it was first propounded, and then, with the adaptations made by Frankfurt to consolidate his position. Cuypers has mapped two distinct conceptions of the will to the evolution of Frankfurt's hierarchical model. My primary aim is to challenge this distinction.