A Moorean paradox of desire

Philosophical Explorations 15 (1):63-84 (2012)
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Abstract

Moore's paradox is a paradox in which certain kinds of belief or assertion, such as a belief that ?it is raining and I do not believe that it is raining?, are irrational despite involving no obvious contradiction in what is believed. But is there a parallel paradox involving other kinds of attitude, in particular desire? I argue that certain kinds of desire would be irrational to have for similar, distinctive reasons that having Moorean beliefs would be irrational to have. Hence, I argue that such desires, a desire that ?one have a particular desire that was frustrated? or a desire that ?some state of affairs obtain about which one was indifferent?, are a parallel Moorean paradox of desire. I further argue that this analogous paradox has implications for practical reasoning, in particular by presenting a problem for instrumentalism about the objects of desire

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David Wall
Australian National University

Citations of this work

Desire considered as a propositional attitude.William G. Lycan - 2012 - Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):201-215.
Moore’s Paradox in Speech: A Critical Survey.John N. Williams - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (1):10-23.
Moore's Paradox in Thought: A Critical Survey.John N. Williams - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (1):24-37.
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.
Moore’s paradox in belief and desire.John N. Williams - 2014 - Acta Analytica 29 (1):1-23.

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References found in this work

The moral problem.Michael Smith - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell.
Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language.John Rogers Searle - 1969 - Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

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