Authors
Peter Baumann
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
Abstract
Desires are contentful mental states. But what determines the content of a desire? Two different classic answers were proposed by Russell and by Wittgenstein, starting in the 1910s. Russell proposed a behaviorist account according to which the content of the desire is fixed by the type of state that puts an end to the relevant kind of behavior which was triggered by some initial discomfort. The desire’s content consists in its “satisfaction conditions”. Wittgenstein criticized such an account for neglecting the crucial point that the relation between a desire and its content is a conceptual, internal one, not an external contingent one. Desires specify their own contents, their “fulfillment conditions”. Even though there is a lot to say in favor of Wittgenstein’s criticism, this paper argues that Russell pointed at an important aspect of desires which plays a crucial role for accounts of self-knowledge of one’s own desires. It turns out that fulfillment conditions and satisfaction conditions are tied together in rational self-knowledge of one’s own desires. In this sense, the views of Russell and Wittgenstein can be combined in a fruitful way.
Keywords desire  content  satisfaction  fulfillment  self-knowledge  Bertrand Russell  Ludwig Wittgenstein
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
The Principles of Mathematics.Bertrand Russell - 1903 - Cambridge, England: Allen & Unwin.
Troubles with Functionalism.Ned Block - 1978 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 9:261-325.
Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry Frankfurt - 2004 - In Tim Crane & Katalin Farkas (eds.), Metaphysics: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.
Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 2003 - In Gary Watson (ed.), Free Will. Oxford University Press.

View all 114 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Conflicts of Desire.Steven Arkonovich - 2012 - Journal of Value Inquiry 46 (1):51-63.
Naturalizing the Content of Desire.Peter Schulte - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):161-174.
Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein's 'Notes on Logic'.Brian McGuinness - 1972 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 26 (102):444-60.
Desiring, Desires, and Desire Ascriptions.David Braun - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (1):141-162.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2021-01-02

Total views
72 ( #157,995 of 2,498,128 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
17 ( #48,584 of 2,498,128 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes