Desiring the bad under the guise of the good

Philosophical Quarterly 58 (231):244–264 (2008)
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Desire is commonly spoken of as a state in which the desired object seems good, which apparently ascribes an evaluative element to desire. I offer a new defence of this old idea. As traditionally conceived, this view faces serious objections related to its way of characterizing desire's evaluative content. I develop an alternative conception of evaluative mental content which is plausible in its own right, allows the evaluative desire theorist to avoid the standard objections, and sheds interesting new light on the idea of evaluative experience.

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Jennifer Hawkins
Duke University


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