The Object of a Desire

H. A. Prichard

in Moral Writings

Published in print August 2002 | ISBN: 9780199250196
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598265 | DOI:

Series: British Moral Philosophers

 The Object of a Desire

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Concerning the nature of desires that pertain to actions, considers the view that we cannot desire something unless we know or think, first, that it does not exist, and second, that it does not exist now. Finds a core of truth in this, but modifies the formula to claim that ‘we can only desire the existence of that of the existence of which in the past, present, or future, as the case may be, we are uncertain.’ Put more simply, a desire is not a desire for the existence of something, but rather a desire for something to be (or to have been, or to be going to be). It follows from this view that we cannot desire something to be the case when we think that, without a doubt, it will be the case.

Keywords: action; desire; doubt; existence; future; past; present

Chapter.  2331 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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