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The Nature of Desire$
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Julien A. Deonna and Federico Lauria

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199370962

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199370962.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 September 2021

The “Guise of the Ought-to-Be”

The “Guise of the Ought-to-Be”

A Deontic View of the Intentionality of Desire

(p.139) Chapter 5 The “Guise of the Ought-to-Be”
The Nature of Desire

Federico Lauria

Oxford University Press

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. This essay examines these conceptions of desire and argues for a deontic alternative, namely the view that desiring is representing a state of affairs as what ought to be. Three lines of criticism of the classical pictures of desire are provided. 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 motivations and be explained by evaluations. Following these criticisms, three positive arguments in favor of the deontic conception are sketched.

Keywords:   intentionality of desire, evaluative view, motivational view, deontic view, ought-to-be, direction of fit, “death of desire” principle, satisfaction, Meinong

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