Desire

Journal article


Blumberg, Kyle and Hawthorne, John. (2022). Desire. Philosophers' Imprint. 22(8), pp. 1-17. https://doi.org/10.3998/phimp.2116
AuthorsBlumberg, Kyle and Hawthorne, John
Abstract

In this paper, we present two puzzles involving desire reports concerning series of events. What does a person want to happen in the first event – is it the event with the highest expected return, or the event that is the initial part of the best series? We show that existing approaches fail to resolve the puzzles around this question and develop a novel account of our own. Our semantics is built around three ideas. First, we propose that desire ascriptions are evaluated relative to a contextually supplied set of propositions, or alternatives. The semantic value of an ascription ‘S wants p’ is determined by S's preference ordering over these alternatives. Second, we propose that desire reports carry a requirement to the effect that the prejacent of the ascription must be suitably related to the background set of alternatives. Finally, we suggest that desire reports carry a dominance condition concerning the subject's ranking of the alternatives. Overall, we argue that our theory provides us with an elegant resolution of our puzzles, and yields a promising approach to desire.

Year2022
JournalPhilosophers' Imprint
Journal citation22 (8), pp. 1-17
PublisherUniversity of Michigan Press
ISSN1533-628X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3998/phimp.2116
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85137899782
Open accessOpen access
Page range1-17
Publisher's version
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Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online2022
Publication process dates
Deposited20 Jan 2023
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