Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 9
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Mills, Chris 2015. The Heteronomy of Choice Architecture. Review of Philosophy and Psychology, Vol. 6, Issue. 3, p. 495.

    Weimer, Steven 2014. Autonomy, Regress, and Manipulation. Philosophia, Vol. 42, Issue. 4, p. 1141.

    Miller, Christian 2013. Identifying with Our Desires. Theoria, Vol. 79, Issue. 2, p. 127.

    Morton, Jennifer M. 2013. Deliberating for Our Far Future Selves. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Vol. 16, Issue. 4, p. 809.

    Stanovich, Keith E. 2013. Why humans are (sometimes) less rational than other animals: Cognitive complexity and the axioms of rational choice. Thinking & Reasoning, Vol. 19, Issue. 1, p. 1.

    COLBURN, BEN 2011. Autonomy and Adaptive Preferences. Utilitas, Vol. 23, Issue. 01, p. 52.

    WESTLUND, ANDREA C. 2009. Rethinking Relational Autonomy. Hypatia, Vol. 24, Issue. 4, p. 26.

    BRATMAN, MICHAEL E. 2006. Dynamics of Sociality. Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Vol. 30, Issue. 1, p. 1.

    Millgram, Elijah 2004. IX-ON BEING BORED OUT OF YOUR MIND. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Vol. 104, Issue. 2, p. 163.



  • Michael E. Bratman (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 July 2003

In autonomous action the agent herself directs and governs the action. But what is it for the agent herself to direct and to govern? One theme in a series of articles by Harry G. Frankfurt is that we can make progress in answering this question by appeal to higher-order conative attitudes. Frankfurt's original version of this idea is that in acting of one's own free will, one is not acting simply because one desires so to act. Rather, it is also true that this desire motivates one's action because one desires that this desire motivate one's action. This latter desire about the motivational role of one's desire is a second-order desire. It is, in particular, what Frankfurt calls a second-order “volition.” And, according to Frankfurt's original proposal, acting of one's own free will involves in this way such second-order, and sometimes yet higher order, volitions.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Social Philosophy and Policy
  • ISSN: 0265-0525
  • EISSN: 1471-6437
  • URL: /core/journals/social-philosophy-and-policy
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *