Introduction. Reconsidering Some Dogmas About Desire

In Federico Lauria & Julien Deonna (eds.), The Nature of Desire. New York: Oxford University Press (2017)
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Desire has not been at the center of recent preoccupations in the philosophy of mind. Consequently, the literature settled into several dogmas. The first part of this introduction presents these dogmas and invites readers to scrutinize them. The main dogma is that desires are motivational states. This approach contrasts with the other dominant conception: desires are positive evaluations. But there are at least four other dogmas: the world should conform to our desires (world-to-mind direction of fit), desires involve a positive evaluation (the “guise of the good”), we cannot desire what we think is actual (the “death of desire” principle), and, in neuroscience, the idea that the reward system is the key to understanding desire. The second part of the introduction summarizes the contributions to this volume. The hope is to contribute to the emergence of a fruitful debate on this neglected, albeit crucial, aspect of the mind.

Author Profiles

Federico Lauria
University of Lisbon
Julien Deonna
University of Geneva


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