First order desire – wanting an object or state of affairs
A first order desire is wanting to do something
On the surface, there are two types of desires: first order desires and second order desires. Everyone has first order desires, which is a desire for an act or experience. There are positive first order desires, such as the desire for success, happiness, procreation, companionship, and health. Then there are more negative first order desires that many try to resist such as eating junk food, smoking cigarettes, consuming caffeine, abusing hard drugs, committing violence, et cetera.
Higher-order volition - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
that's a nice example. I had a hunch that my suggestion might face something like this. However, I do not actually think that it is much of bullet to bite compared to the original paradox and the other problems. I would in fact say that Bob's life is not yet improved by the appearance of the first order desires. Consider the case in which Bob, as a lazy slob he is, finds that all the new first order desires are just too weak to move him anywhere from the couch. There is a pull, which just lacks the ummpph. If this is the case, we can ask whether Bob's life in the end was improved at all with these new desires. I might want to say that no - it wasn't at all. This would fit the idea that satisfaction of higher order desires does not improve well-being.
Second, Frankfurt's account relies, perhaps, too heavily on choosing between conflicting desires and motives. I can't see any necessary connection between having conflicting first order desires and having the ability to reflect upon, evaluate, and identify with first-order desires. Second-order volitions, therefore, do not depend upon conflicting first-order desires (e.g., within divine personhood there may be first and second order volitions, though no conflicts within or between orders). Frankfurt does not explicitly say otherwise, but the tenor of his essay does lean that way.Let's imagine a race of Pebblesorters that's p-morality consists of sorting pebbles into prime-numbered heaps. All Pebblesorters have a second-order desire to sort pebbles into prime-numbered heaps, and ensure that others do so as well. In addition to this, individual Pebblesorters have first order desires that make them favor certain prime numbers more than others when they are sorting.That is one way of describing cases where second order desires conflict with first order desires, perhaps. But one can want to to want X and want X... its just that Alicorn used only examples where the two conflict (and probably the distinction is best illustrated by looking at the conflicts). But right now I have both a first order desire not to use heroin and a second order desire to not use heroin. In fact, the vast majority of our desires are probably like this. So most cases of "wanting to want" are not cases of internal conflict but perhaps these cases can be described as instances of internal consistency.I think you're looking at this discussion from the wrong angle. The question is, "how do we differentiate first-order wants that trump second-order wants from second-order wants that trump first-order wants?" Here, the order only refers to the psychological location of the desire: to use Freudian terms, the first order desires originate in the id and the second order desires originate in the superego.