Noûs 38 (2):326-50 (2004)

Authors
David K. Chan
University of Alabama, Birmingham
Abstract
An extrinsic desire is defined as a desire for something, not for its own sake, but for its supposed propensity to secure something else that one desires. I argue that the notion of ‘extrinsic desire’ is theoretically redundant. I begin by defining desire as a propositional attitude with a desirability characterization. The roles of desire and intention in practical reasoning are distinguished. I show that extrinsic desire does not have its own motivational role. I also show that extrinsic desire is not needed for other roles besides motivation to carry out the means, and is not generated by reason. Finally, I argue that an account of extrinsic motivation in terms of intention is preferable to an account in terms of extrinsic desire. Because of the fundamental differences between extrinsic desire and intrinsic desire, it is more advantageous to distinguish between them as different kinds of mental states: intention and desire.
Keywords Extrinsic desire  Intrinsic desire  Intention  Motivation  Propositional attitude  Reason
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0068.2004.00472.x
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Desires.Kris McDaniel & Ben Bradley - 2008 - Mind 117 (466):267-302.
Desire.Timothy Schroeder - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 1 (6):631-639.
Responding to Normativity.Stephen Finlay - 2007 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Volume 2. Clarendon Press. pp. 220--39.
How Verbal Reports of Desire May Mislead.Alex Gregory - 2017 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 6 (4):241-249.
The Irreducibility of Pleasure to Desire.Olivier Massin - 2008 - Swiss Philosophical Preprints.

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