Desires matter. How are we to understand their intentionality? According to the main dogma, a desire is a disposition to act. In this article, I propose an alternative to this functionalist picture, which is inspired by the phenomenological tradition. On this approach, desire involves a specific manner of representing the world: deontic mode. Desiring a state of affairs, I propose, is representing it as what ought to be or, if one prefers, as what should be. Firstly, I present three principles of the semantics of desires that pertain to their satisfaction conditions, their world-to-mind direction of fit, and the idea that we desire what, we think, is not actual. Secondly, I examine the functionalist view in light of these features. Finally, I argue
for the deontic mode conception: desire and ought-to-be fit like hand in glove. Consequently, desire’s intentionality is irreducible to desire’s functional role and calls for a first-person perspective taking modes seriously.