Disciplines: Philosophy, Political Science
Theory of people's wants and wills found in idealism.
People have a real self or 'real will' which is what they would want if they reflected in a fully rational way on their interests. It will frequently differ from their expressed will, or what they say and believe that they want.
Some other person or institution, such as government, may therefore know what people's 'will' is better than they do themselves.
Andrew Vincent and Raymond Plant, Philosophy, Politics and Citizenship (Oxford, 1984)