Are There Passive Desires?

Dialectica 63 (2):133-155 (2009)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

What is the relation between desire and action? According to a traditional, widespread and influential view I call ‘The Motivational Necessity of Desire’ (MN), having a desire that p entails being disposed to act in ways that you believe will bring about p. But what about desires like a desire that the committee chooses you without your needing to do anything, or a desire that your child passes her exams on her own? Such ‘self-passive’ desires are often given as a counter-example to MN. If MN is true then self-passive desires seem absurd: if someone has a self-passive desire she will be disposed to act, thereby preventing her from getting what she desires. But it seems that we can reasonably, and often do, have such desires. However, I argue that self-passive desires are not, in fact, counter-examples to MN: close consideration of the content of these desires, the contexts in which we ascribe them, and what is claimed by MN show that they are not a problem for that view. I also argue that strengthened versions of the examples are unsuccessful, and I offer a diagnosis of why these kinds of case are commonly thought to raise a challenge to MN.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,088

External links

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 desires of others.Berislav Marušić - 2010 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (3):385-400.
The problem of defective desires.Chris Heathwood - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (4):487 – 504.
Desires without Guises: Why We Need Not Value What We Want.Sabine Döring & Bahadir Eker - forthcoming - In Julien Deonna & Federico Lauria (eds.), The Nature of Desire. Oxford University Press.
A Puzzle About Desire.Chase B. Wrenn - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (2):185-209.
Quirky Desires and Well-Being.Donald Bruckner - 2016 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 10 (2):1-34.
Desires.Kris McDaniel & Ben Bradley - 2008 - Mind 117 (466):267-302.
Depression and the Problem of Absent Desires.Ian Tully - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 11 (2):1-16.
Might Desires Be Beliefs About Normative Reasons?Alex Gregory - 2017 - In Julien Deonna & Federico Lauria (eds.), The Nature of Desire. Oxford University Press. pp. 201-217.
Unselfishness.Christopher G. Framarin - 2008 - International Philosophical Quarterly 48 (1):69-83.
Moore’s paradox in belief and desire.John N. Williams - 2014 - Acta Analytica 29 (1):1-23.
Desiring, desires, and desire ascriptions.David Braun - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (1):141-162.
Desire.Richard Swinburne - 1985 - Philosophy 60 (234):429 - 445.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-06-16

Downloads
179 (#103,171)

6 months
27 (#99,345)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

David Wall
Australian National University

Citations of this work

Desire.Tim Schroeder - 2006 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 1 (6):631-639.
The Nature of Desire.Federico Lauria & Julien Deonna (eds.) - 2017 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
Desires without Guises: Why We Need Not Value What We Want.Sabine Döring & Bahadir Eker - forthcoming - In Julien Deonna & Federico Lauria (eds.), The Nature of Desire. Oxford University Press.
The Mirror Account of Hope and Fear.Carl-Johan Palmqvist - forthcoming - Canadian Journal of Philosophy:1-15.
Quand Vouloir, c'est Faire [How to Do Things with Wants].Olivier Massin - 2014 - In R. Clot-Goudard (Dir.), L'Explication de L'Action. Analyses Contemporaines, Recherches Sur la Philosophie Et le Langage N°30, Paris, Vrin 30.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
The moral problem.Michael Smith - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell.

View all 87 references / Add more references