Chapter

Ex Ante Desire and Post Hoc Satisfaction

H. E. Baber

in Time and Identity

Published by The MIT Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780262014090
Published online August 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780262265799 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/9780262014090.003.0174
Ex Ante Desire and Post Hoc Satisfaction

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This chapter discusses desire theory and how the temporal gap between desires and the states of affairs that satisfy them affects this theory. Satisfaction is not that important in desire theory because even if getting what we want fails to satisfy, we are better off for having got it. The rationale for rejecting hedonistic accounts of well-being in favor of desire theories is the intuition that states of affairs that are not “like” anything for us can harm and benefit us. Sumner, however, suggests that even if we grant the desire theorist’s fundamental assumption that they can make a difference to our well-being, the prospective character of desire, which opens a temporal gap between desires and the states of affairs that satisfy them, undermines the account.

Keywords: desire theory; temporal gap; well-being; Sumner; satisfaction

Chapter.  8279 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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