Conflicts of Desire

Journal of Value Inquiry 46 (1):51-63 (2012)
Abstract
This paper is an attempt to come to a better understanding of desire through an examination of certain kinds of conflict of desire. Standard accounts of conflict of desire involve a two-part analysis. First, desires are held to conflict just in case the satisfaction of one precludes the satisfaction of the other; second, a desire is said to be satisfied just in case the propositional content of the desire is true. I argue that this account of conflict rests in an inadequate notion of desire satisfaction, and suggest a revision of our understanding of desire satisfaction to yield a better account of conflict of desire. This account of satisfaction requires that we recognize as a fundamental feature of desire, alongside the desire ’s strength and content, the desire ’s role. For some conflicts of desire are best understood as conflicts of role, not conflicts of content
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DOI 10.1007/s10790-012-9319-z
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