"The Logic of the Liver". A Deontic View of the Intentionality of Desire

Dissertation, University of Geneva (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Desires matter. How are we to understand the intentionality of desire? According to the two classical views, desire is either a positive evaluation or a disposition to act: to desire a state is to positively evaluate it or to be disposed to act to realize it. This Ph.D. Dissertation examines these conceptions of desire and proposes a deontic alternative inspired by Meinong. On this view, desiring is representing a state of affairs as what ought to be or, if one prefers, as what should be. Desire involves a deontic manner of representing: a norm of the ought-to-be type features in desire’s intentional mode, as opposed to content. The dissertation is structured in three parts. In order to defend this conception, I formulate three main desiderata for a promising theory of the intentionality of desire in the introduction (§0). The first concerns desire’s direction of fit, i.e. the intuition that the world should conform to our desires. The second concerns the death of desire principle, i.e. the intuition that one cannot desire what one represents as actual. The last pertains to desire’s role in psychological explanations, i.e. the intuition that desires can explain some mental states and be explained by other mental states. The first part examines the main conceptions of desire in light of these desiderata. I argue that the classical pictures of desire do not adequately meet our desiderata. The first chapter is devoted to the evaluative conception (§1), while the second examines the motivational approach (§2). Following these criticisms, I then present the deontic view of desire (§3). In the second part, I defend this conception with the help of three arguments. The main idea is that appealing to norms of the ought-to-be type can satisfy our chief desiderata: the world should conform to norms (world-to-mind direction of fit, §4), norms are grounded on values and in turn ground obligations (explanation, §5), and norms are about non-actual states of affairs (death of desire principle, §6). In the last part, I develop the deontic view to draw a cartography of the various types of desire. Some desires are correct, while others are inappropriate. This distinction is explained by the deontic conception, as it matches that between states of affairs that ought to obtain and states that should not obtain (§7). Two study cases are examined: caprice and the impermissibility of desire aggregation. Intuitively, hopes, wishes, or urges are types of desire. The next chapter presents a typology inspired by the deontic view and the type of norms there are (§8). The last chapter discusses the main objections to the deontic approach (§9). In conclusion, I show the relevance of the deontic view for several debates in philosophy of mind and ethics. Desires are crucial because they are the ‘eye’ of what should be.

Links

PhilArchive

External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The "Guise of the Ought to Be": A Deontic View of the Intentionality of Desire.Federico Lauria - 2017 - In Federico Lauria & Julien Deonna (eds.), The Nature of Desire. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 352.
Introduction. Reconsidering Some Dogmas About Desire.Federico Lauria & Julien Deonna - 2017 - In Federico Lauria & Julien Deonna (eds.), The Nature of Desire. New York: Oxford University Press.
Philosophy and Desire.Hugh J. Silverman (ed.) - 2000 - New York: Routledge.
Ex ante desire and post hoc satisfaction.Harriett Baber - 2010 - In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & Harry Silverstein (eds.), Time and Identity. MIT Press. pp. 249--267.
Conflicts of Desire.Steven Arkonovich - 2012 - Journal of Value Inquiry 46 (1):51-63.
A Puzzle About Desire.Chase B. Wrenn - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (2):185-209.
Desiring the bad under the guise of the good.Jennifer Hawkins - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (231):244–264.
Are there extrinsic desires?David K. Chan - 2004 - Noûs 38 (2):326-50.
Deleuze's Conception of Desire.Jihai Gao - 2013 - Deleuze and Guatarri Studies 7 (3):406-420.
Are There Passive Desires?David Wall - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (2):133-155.
Backgrounding desire.Philip Pettit & Michael Smith - 1990 - Philosophical Review 99 (4):565-592.
The alluringness of desire.Daniel Friedrich - 2012 - Philosophical Explorations 15 (3):291 - 302.
The Puzzle of Imaginative Desire.Amy Kind - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (3):421-439.
Insatiable Desire.Fiona Ellis - 2013 - Philosophy 88 (2):243-265.

Analytics

Added to PP
2017-05-10

Downloads
512 (#37,065)

6 months
144 (#24,944)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Federico Lauria
University of Lisbon

References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by John Henry McDowell.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The moral problem.Michael Smith - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell.
Leviathan.Thomas Hobbes - 1651 - Harmondsworth,: Penguin Books. Edited by C. B. Macpherson.

View all 136 references / Add more references