Attraction, Aversion, and Asymmetrical Desires

Ethics 132 (3):598-620 (2022)
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I argue that, insofar as we endorse the general idea that desires play an important role in well-being, we ought to believe that their significance for well-being is derived from a pair of more fundamental attitudes: attraction and aversion. Attraction has wholly positive significance for well-being, and aversion has wholly negative significance for well-being. Desire satisfaction and frustration have significance for well-being insofar as the relevant desires involve some combination of attraction and aversion. I defend these claims by illustrating how our desires can be asymmetrical. They can have greater positive than negative significance for well-being, or vice versa.

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Daniel Pallies
Lingnan University


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