Mind 117 (466):267-302 (2008)

Authors
Kris McDaniel
Syracuse University
Ben Bradley
Syracuse University
Abstract
We argue that desire is an attitude that relates a person not to one proposition but rather to two, the first of which we call the object of the desire and the second of which we call the condition of the desire. This view of desire is initially motivated by puzzles about conditional desires. It is not at all obvious how best to draw the distinction between conditional and unconditional desires. In this paper we examine extant attempts to analyse conditional desire. From the failures of those attempts, we draw a moral that leads us to the correct account of conditional desires. We then extend the account of conditional desires to an account of all desires. We attempt to explain the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic desire in light of our account of desire. We show how to use our account to solve Wollheim’s paradox of democracy and to save modus ponens. Finally, we extend the account of desire to related phenomena, such as conditional promises, intentions, and commands.
Keywords desire  conditional attitude  intrinsic and extrinsic desire  paradox of democracy  intrinsic value  modus ponens
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DOI 10.1093/mind/fzn044
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Blackwell.
The Possibility of Altruism.Thomas Nagel - 1970 - Oxford Clarendon Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.

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Citations of this work BETA

Why Subjectivists About Welfare Needn't Idealize.Eden Lin - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (1):2-23.
Desire.Timothy Schroeder - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 1 (6):631-639.
Propositional Attitudes?Trenton Merricks - 2009 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 109 (1pt3):207 - 232.

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