David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Erkenntnis 73 (2):185-209 (2010)
The following four assumptions plausibly describe the ideal rational agent. (1) She knows what her beliefs are. (2) She desires to believe only truths. (3) Whenever she desires that P → Q and knows that P, she desires that Q. (4) She does not both desire that P and desire that ~P, for any P. Although the assumptions are plausible, they have an implausible consequence. They imply that the ideal rational agent does not believe and desire contradictory propositions. She neither desires the world to be any different than she thinks it is, nor thinks it is any different than she desires it to be. The problem of preserving our intuitions about desire, without embracing the implausible conclusion, is what I call “the Wishful Thinking Puzzle.” In this paper, I examine how this puzzle arises, and I argue that it is surprisingly difficult to solve. Even the decision theoretic conception of desire is not immune to the puzzle. One approach, the contrastive conception of desire, does avoid the puzzle without being ad hoc, but it remains too inchoate to win our full confidence.
|Keywords||rationality desire truth|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
References found in this work BETA
Simon Blackburn (2005). Truth: A Guide. Oxford University Press.
Richard Bradley (1999). Conditional Desirability. Theory and Decision 47 (1):23-55.
Roderick M. Chisholm (1966). Theory of Knowledge. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,Prentice-Hall.
Christopher Gauker (2005). The Belief-Desire Law. Facta Philosophica 7 (2):121-144.
Laurence Goldstein (1992). A Buridanian Discussion of Desire, Murder and Democracy. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 70 (4):405 – 414.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Amy Kind (2011). The Puzzle of Imaginative Desire. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (3):421-439.
Giles Pearson (2012). Aristotle on Desire. Cambridge University Press.
Anita M. Superson (2005). Deformed Desires and Informed Desire Tests. Hypatia 20 (4):109-126.
David Wall (2009). Are There Passive Desires? Dialectica 63 (2):133-155.
Richard Swinburne (1985). Desire. Philosophy 60 (234):429 - 445.
Steven Arkonovich (2012). Conflicts of Desire. Journal of Value Inquiry 46 (1):51-63.
Douglas W. Portmore (2007). Desire Fulfillment and Posthumous Harm. American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (1):27 - 38.
Aristophanes Koutoungos (2008). The Practical Rationality of Induction. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 33:27-30.
Chris Heathwood (2005). The Problem of Defective Desires. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (4):487 – 504.
Charles B. Cross (2008). Nonbelief and the Desire-as-Belief Thesis. Acta Analytica 23 (2):115-124.
Kris McDaniel & Ben Bradley (2008). Desires. Mind 117 (466):267 - 302.
Amy Peikoff (2003). Rational Action Entails Rational Desire: A Critical Review of Searle's Rationality in Action. Philosophical Explorations 6 (2):124 – 138.
Added to index2010-11-05
Total downloads40 ( #35,940 of 1,089,047 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #20,082 of 1,089,047 )
How can I increase my downloads?