The Standard Theory and Its Rivals

Timothy Schroeder

in Three Faces of Desire

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780195172379
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849987 | DOI:

Series: Philosophy of Mind Series

The Standard Theory and Its Rivals

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This chapter discusses the motivational theory “the standard theory” of desire. It also briefly deals with the standard theory's main rival, the hedonic theory of desire. Then, it sketches out some of the recent neuroscience that hints at an alternative theory of desire. The standard theory has two central features: (1) it holds that all desires are desires that P, for some proposition P; and (2) they are action-guiding. Moreover, it explains why motivation is not essential to desire and motivation is not sufficient for desiring. It is stated that the standard theory treats the phenomenology as constitutive of a superficial distinction, rather than indicative of a deeper distinction.

Keywords: standard theory of desire; hedonic theory of desire; neuroscience; motivation

Chapter.  15909 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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