|About the Book|
This term paper deals with an essay by the American philosopher Harry G. Frankfurt On Caring. Harry Frankfurt is one of those thinkers who have the ability to provoke new and interesting discussions in philosophy, while keeping the language simple to understand even for the lay mind. This particular essay was published in 1999 in a book called Necessity, Volition, and Love which contained a series of essays dealing with various concepts of human needs, wishes and desires.The goal of this treatise is to present the essay in a more detailed manner and to provide some deeper insight into Frankfurts concepts by bringing in a couple of examples of everyday life. Having this objective in mind, we begin with a presentation of some biographical information on the author and an overview of his work. This is especially important in order to follow Frankfurts explorations about the ways people think about themselves intellectually and morally, and how ideals and values shape our lives. Throughout his career, Frankfurt continued to develop these concepts, and this is why it is essential to look at his first works, which laid out the grounds for his thinking. The following discussion of the essay On Caring will then be divided into three parts: A first part deals with the idea that caring can be understood as a principal reason for human action and therefore as a means for the pursuit of happiness, and is followed by a discussion about what caring in this sense actually means. Thirdly, we will shortly look at the concept of love that Frankfurt sketches in the last passage of this first part of the essay (called Caring and Necessity), leading to the second part (The Necessities of Love), which has not been taken into consideration for this paper.