Book chapter

The "Guise of the Ought to Be": A Deontic View of the Intentionality of Desire

ContributorsLauria, Federico
Published inThe Nature of Desire, Editors Deonna, J. & Lauria, F., p. 352
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication date2017

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.

  • Philosophy
  • Desire
  • Motivational conception of desire
  • Deontic conception of desire
  • Ought to be
Citation (ISO format)
LAURIA, Federico. The ‘Guise of the Ought to Be’: A Deontic View of the Intentionality of Desire. In: The Nature of Desire. [s.l.] : Oxford University Press, 2017. p. 352.
Main files (1)
Book chapter (Accepted version)
  • PID : unige:97756

Technical informations

Creation10/07/2017 6:55:00 PM
First validation10/07/2017 6:55:00 PM
Update time03/15/2023 2:08:58 AM
Status update03/15/2023 2:08:58 AM
Last indexation01/17/2024 12:58:24 AM
All rights reserved by Archive ouverte UNIGE and the University of GenevaunigeBlack