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5.1d. Desire (Desire on PhilPapers)

See also:
Arlo-Costa, Horacio; Collins, John M. & Levi, Isaac (1995). Desire-as-belief implies opinionation or indifference. Analysis 55 (1):2-5.   (Google)
Bratman, Michael E. (2003). A desire of one's own. Journal of Philosophy 100 (5):221-42.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: You can sometimes have and be moved by desires which you in some sense disown. The problem is whether we can make sense of these ideas of---as I will say---ownership and rejection of a desire, without appeal to a little person in the head who is looking on at the workings of her desires and giving the nod to some but not to others. Frankfurt's proposed solution to this problem, sketched in his 1971 article, has come to be called the hierarchical model. Indeed, it seems that, normally, if an agent's relevant higher-order attitudes are not to some extent shaped by her evaluative reflections and judgments her agency will be flawed. But this suggests a Platonic challenge to the hierarchical account of ownership. The challenge is to explain why we should not see such evaluative judgments---rather than broadly Frankfurtian higher-order attitudes---as the fundamental basis of ownership or rejection of desire. I do think that a systematic absence of connection between higher-order Frankfurtian attitude and evaluative judgment would be a breakdown in proper functioning. But I want to explain how we can grant this point and still block the Platonic challenge.
Bratman, Michael E. (1990). Dretske's desires. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 50 (4):795-800.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Bricke, John (2000). Desires, passions, and evaluations. Southwest Philosophy Review 16 (1):59-65.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Brook, Andrew (2006). Desire, reward, feeling: Commentary on Schroeder's Three Faces of Desire. Dialogue 45 (1):157-164.   (Google)
Butler, Keith (1992). The physiology of desire. Journal of Mind and Behavior 13 (1):69-88.   (Cited by 2 | Annotation | Google)
Chan, David K. (2004). Are there extrinsic desires? Noûs 38 (2):326-50.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Cheney, J. E. (1978). The intentionality of desire and the intentions of people. Mind 87 (October):517-532.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Collins, D. (1988). Belief, desire, and revision. Mind 97 (July):333-42.   (Cited by 20 | Google | More links)
Davis, Wayne A. (1986). Two senses of desire. In J. Marks (ed.), The Ways of Desire. Precedent.   (Cited by 12 | Google)
Daveney, T. F. (1961). Wanting. Philosophical Quarterly 11 (April):135-144.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
De Sousa, Ronald (2006). Dust, ashes, and vice: On Tim Schroeder's theory of desire. Dialogue 45 (1):139-150.   (Google | More links)
Dretske, Fred (1966). Ziring ziderata. Mind 75 (April):211-223.   (Google | More links)
Dwyer, Daniel (2006). A phenomenology of cognitive desire. Idealistic Studies 36 (1):47-60.   (Google)
Falk, Arthur E. (2004). Desire and Belief: Introduction to Some Recent Philosophical Debates. Hamilton Books, University Press of America.   (Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract: This work examines the nature of what philosophers call de re mental attitudes, paying close attention to the controversies over the nature of these and allied...
Frankfurt, Harry G. (1984). Necessity and desire. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 45 (1):1-13.   (Google | More links)
Framarin, Christopher G. (2006). The desire you are required to get rid of: A functionalist analysis of desire in the bhagavadgita. Philosophy East and West 56 (4):604-+.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Abstract: : Nisk?makarma is generally understood nonliterally as action done without desire of a certain sort. It is argued here that all desires are prohibited by nisk?makarma. Two objections are considered: (1) desire is a necessary condition of action, and (2) the Indian tradition as a whole accepts desire as a necessary condition of action. A distinction is drawn here between a goal and a desire, and it is argued that goals
Fuery, P. (1995). Theories of Desire. Melbourne University Press.   (Cited by 17 | Google)
Gert, Joshua (2005). Breaking the law of desire. Erkenntnis 62 (3):295-319.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper offers one formal reason why it may often be inappropriate to hold, of two conflicting desires, that the first must be weaker than, stronger than, or of the same strength as the second. The explanation of this fact does not rely on vagueness or epistemological problems in determining the strengths of desires. Nor does it make use of the problematic notion of incommensurability. Rather, the suggestion is that the motivational capacities of many desires might best be characterized by two values, neither of which should be interpreted as strength
Graff, Delia (2003). Desires, scope, and tense. Philosophical Perspectives 17 (1):141-163.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: I want to discuss a certain argument for the claim that de?nite descriptions are ambiguous between a Russellian quanti?cational interpretation and a predicational interpretation.1 The argument is found in James McCawley
Hajek, A. & Pettit, Philip (2004). Desire beyond belief. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (1):77-92.   (Google)
Hill, Christopher S. (ms). Comments on Timothy Schroeder's Three Faces of Desire.   (Google)
Abstract: Department of Philosophy Brown University Providence, RI 02912
Hoffman, Christopher A. (1993). Desires and the desirable. Philosophical Forum 25 (1):19-32.   (Google)
Hubin, Donald C. (2003). Desires, whims, and values. Journal of Ethics 7 (3):315-35.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Neo-Humean instrumentalists hold that anagent''s reasons for acting are grounded in theagent''s desires. Numerous objections have beenleveled against this view, but the mostcompelling concerns the problem of ``aliendesires''''
Hulse, Donovan; Read, Cynthia & Schroeder, Timothy (2004). The impossibility of conscious desire. American Philosophical Quarterly 41 (1):73-80.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Humberstone, I. L. (1987). Wanting as believing. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 17 (March):49-62.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Humberstone, I. L. (1990). Wanting, getting, having. Philosophical Papers 99 (August):99-118.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Kvart, Igal (1986). Beliefs and believing. Theoria 52:129-45.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Larson, E. (1994). Needs versus desires. Dialogue 37 (1):1-10.   (Google)
Latham, Noa (2006). Three compatible theories of desire. Dialogue 45 (1):131-138.   (Google)
Lewis, David (1988). Desire as belief. Mind 97 (418):323-32.   (Cited by 26 | Google | More links)
Lewis, David (1996). Desire as belief II. Mind 105 (418):303-13.   (Cited by 19 | Google | More links)
Lumer, Christoph (1997). The content of originally intrinsic desires and of intrinsic motivation. Acta Analytica 18 (18):107-121.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Marks, Joel (1982). A theory of emotion. Philosophical Studies 42 (1):227-42.   (Cited by 15 | Google | More links)
Marks, J. (1986). On the need for theory of desire. In J. Marks (ed.), The Ways of Desire. Precedent.   (Google)
Marks, Joel (ed.) (1986). The Ways of Desire: New Essays in Philosophical Psychology on the Concept of Wanting. Transaction Publishers.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Abstract: Collection of original essays on the theory of desire by Robert Audi, Annette Baier, Wayne Davis, Ronald de Sousa, Robert Gordon, O.H. Green, Joel Marks, Dennis Stampe, Mitchell Staude, Michael Stocker, and C.C.W. Taylor.
McDaniel, Kris & Bradley, Ben (2008). Desires. Mind 117 (466).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: It is not at all obvious how best to draw the distinction between conditional and unconditional desires. In this paper we examine extant attempts to analyse conditional desire. From the failures of those attempts, we draw a moral that leads us to the correct account of conditional desires. We then extend the account of conditional desires to an account of all desires. It emerges that desires do not have the structure that they have been thought to have. We attempt to explain the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic desire in light of our account of desire. We show how to use our account to solve Wollheim's paradox of democracy and to save modus ponens. Finally, we extend the account of desire to related phenomena, such as conditional promises, intentions, and commands. CiteULike    Connotea    Del.icio.us    What's this?
McInerney, Peter K. (2004). Strength of desire. American Philosophical Quarterly 41 (4):299-310.   (Google)
Meyers, Chris (2005). Wants and desires: A critique of conativist theory of motivation. Journal of Philosophical Research 30:357-370.   (Google)
Morillo, Carolyn R. (1992). Reward event systems: Reconceptualizing the explanatory roles of motivation, desire and pleasure. Philosophical Psychology 5 (1):7-32.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Abstract: A developing neurobiological/psychological theory of positive motivation gives a key causal role to reward events in the brain which can be directly activated by electrical stimulation (ESB). In its strongest form, this Reward Event Theory (RET) claims that all positive motivation, primary and learned, is functionally dependent on these reward events. Some of the empirical evidence is reviewed which either supports or challenges RET. The paper examines the implications of RET for the concepts of 'motivation', 'desire' and 'reward' or 'pleasure'. It is argued (1) that a 'causal base' as opposed to a functional' concept of motivation has theoretical advantages; (2) that a causal distinction between the focus' and the 'anchor' of desire suggests an ineliminable 'opacity' of desire; and (3) that some affective concept, such as 'pleasure', should play a key role in psychological explanation, distinct from that of motivational (or cognitive) concepts. A concept of 'reward' or 'pleasure' as intrinsically positive affect is defended, and contrasted with the more 'operational' definitions of 'reward' in some of the hypotheses of Roy Wise
Nolan, Daniel (2006). Selfless desires. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (3):665–679.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: final version in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 2006 73.3: 665-679
Pettit, Philip & Price, Huw (1989). Bare functional desire. Analysis 49 (October):162-69.   (Cited by 7 | Google)
Pojman, Louis P. (1985). Believing and willing. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 15 (March):37-56.   (Cited by 11 | Google)
Price, Huw (1989). Defending desire-as-belief. Mind 98 (January):119-27.   (Cited by 16 | Google | More links)
Ross, Peter W. (2002). Explaining motivated desires. Topoi 21 (1-2):199-207.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Roth, Abraham S. (2005). The mysteries of desire: A discussion. Philosophical Studies 123 (3):273-293.   (Google | More links)
Russell, John M. (1984). Desires don't cause actions. Journal of Mind and Behavior 84:1-10.   (Google)
Sayre-McCord, Geoffrey & Smith, Michael A. (ms). Desires and beliefs of one's own.   (Google)
Schroeder, Timothy (2006). Desire. Philosophy Compass 1 (6):631–639.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Desires move us to action, give us urges, incline us to joy at their satisfaction, and incline us to sorrow at their frustration. Naturalistic work on desire has focused on distinguishing which of these phenomena are part of the nature of desire, and which are merely normal consequences of desiring. Three main answers have been proposed. The first holds that the central necessary fact about desires is that they lead to action. The second makes pleasure the essence of desire. And the third holds that the central necessary fact about desires is that they open us to reward-based learning.
Schueler, G. F. (1995). Desire: Its Role in Practical Reason and the Explanation of Action. MIT Press.   (Cited by 26 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Does action always arise out of desire? G. F. Schueler examines this hotly debated topic in philosophy of action and moral philosophy, arguing that once two senses of "desire" are distinguished - roughly, genuine desires and pro attitudes - apparently plausible explanations of action in terms of the agent's desires can be seen to be mistaken. Desire probes a fundamental issue in philosophy of mind, the nature of desires and how, if at all, they motivate and justify our actions. At least since Hume argued that reason "is and of right ought to be the slave of the passions," many philosophers have held that desires play an essential role both in practical reason and in the explanation of intentional action. G. F. Schueler looks at contemporary accounts of both roles in various belief-desire models of reasons and explanation and argues that the usual belief-desire accounts need to be replaced. Schueler contends that the plausibility of the standard belief-desire accounts rests largely on a failure to distinguish "desires proper," like a craving for sushi, from so-called "pro attitudes," which may take the form of beliefs and other cognitive states as well as desires proper. Schueler's "deliberative model" of practical reasoning suggests a different view of the place of desire in practical reason and the explanation of action. He holds that we can arrive at an intention to act by weighing the relevant considerations and that these may not include desires proper at all.
Schueler, G. F. (1991). Pro-attitudes and direction of fit. Mind 100 (400):277-81.   (Cited by 9 | Google | More links)
Schroeder, Timothy (2006). Precis of Three Faces of Desire. Dialogue 45 (1):125-130.   (Google)
Schwitzgebel, Eric (1999). Representation and desire: A philosophical error with consequences for theory-of-mind research. Philosophical Psychology 12 (2):157-180.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper distinguishes two conceptions of representation at work in the philosophical literature. On the first, "contentive" conception (found, for example, in Searle and Fodor), something is a representation, roughly, if it has "propositional content". On the second, "indicative" conception (found, for example, in Dretske), representations must not only have content but also have the function of indicating something about the world. Desire is representational on the first view but not on the second. This paper argues that philosophers and psychologists have sometimes conflated these two conceptions, and it examines the consequences of this conflation for the developmental literature on the child's understanding of mind. Specifically, recent research by Gopnik and Perner on the child's understanding of desire is motivated by an argument that equivocates between the two conceptions of representation. Finally, the paper suggests that an examination of when the child understands the possibility of misrepresentation in art would be helpful in charting the child's understanding of indicative representation
Schroeder, Timothy (2006). Reply to critics. Dialogue 45 (1):165-174.   (Google)
Sidgwick, H. (1892). The feeling-tone of desire and aversion. Mind 1 (1):94-101.   (Google | More links)
Silverman, Hugh J. (ed.) (2000). Philosophy and Desire. Routledge.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Philosophy and Desire , the seventh book in the well-known Continental Philosophy series, examines questions of desire--desire for another person, desire for happiness, desire for knowledge, desire for a better world, desire for the impossible, desire in text, desire in language and desire for desire itself. The theme of desire is explored through readings of contemporary figures such as Merleau-Ponty, Bataille, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Levinas, Irigaray, Barthes, Derrida, and Derrida. A hot, timely topic in philosophy today Expands the contemporary debates
Smythe, Thomas W. (1972). Unconscious desires and the meaning of 'desire'. The Monist 56 (July):413-425.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Stampe, Dennis W. (1994). Desire. In Samuel D. Guttenplan (ed.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Stampe, Dennis W. (1990). Desires as reasons--discussion notes on Fred Dretske's explaining behavior: Reasons in a world of causes. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 50 (4):787-793.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Stampe, Dennis W. (1986). Defining desire. In J. Marks (ed.), The Ways of Desire. Precedent.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Stampe, Dennis W. (1987). The authority of desire. Philosophical Review 96 (July):335-81.   (Cited by 23 | Google | More links)
Teichmann, Roger (1992). Whyte on the individuation of desires. Analysis 52 (2):103-7.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Frankfurt, Harry (1992). The Faintest Passion. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 66 (3):5-16.   (Google)
Thagard, Paul R. (2006). Desires are not propositional attitudes. Dialogue 45 (1):151-156.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Vadas, Melinda (1984). Affective and nonaffective desire. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 45 (December):273-80.   (Google | More links)
Whyte, J. T. (1992). Weak-kneed desires. Analysis 52 (2):107-11.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Woodfield, Andrew (1982). Desire, intentional content and teleological explanation. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 82:69-88.   (Google)

5.1d.1 Desire as Belief

Bradley, Richard & List, Christian (2009). Desire-as-belief revisited. Analysis 69 (1).   (Google)
Brown, Curtis (1986). What is a belief state? Midwest Studies in Philosophy 10.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
Abstract: What we believe depends on more than the purely intrinsic facts about us: facts about our environment or context also help determine the contents of our beliefs. 1 This observation has led several writers to hope that beliefs can be divided, as it were, into two components: a "core" that depends only on the individual?s intrinsic properties; and a periphery that depends on the individual?s context, including his or her history, environment, and linguistic community. Thus Jaegwon Kim suggests that "within each noninternal psychological state that enters into the explanation of some action or behavior we can locate an ?internal core state? which can assume the causal-explanatory role of the noninternal state."2 In the same vein, Stephen Stich writes that "nonautonomous" states, like belief, are best viewed as "conceptually complex hybrids" made up of an autonomous component together with historical and contextual features.3 John Perry, whose term I have adopted, distinguishes between belief states, which are determined by an individual?s intrinsic properties, and objects of belief, which are not.4 And Daniel Dennett makes use of the same notion when he asks:5
Collins, John, Desire-as-belief implies opinionation or indifference.   (Google)
Abstract: Rationalizations of deliberation often make reference to two kinds of mental state, which we call belief and desire. It is worth asking whether these kinds are necessarily distinct, or whether it might be possible to construe desire as belief of a certain sort — belief, say, about what would be good. An expected value theory formalizes our notions of belief and desire, treating each as a matter of degree. In this context the thesis that desire is belief might amount to the claim that the degree to which an agent desires any proposition A equals the degree to which the agent believes the proposition that A would be good. We shall write this latter proposition ‘A◦’ (pronounced ‘A halo’). The Desire-as-Belief Thesis states, then, that to each proposition A there corresponds another proposition A◦, where the probability of A◦ equals the expected value of A
Hajek, Alan (ms). Desire beyond belief Alan hájek and Philip Pettit.   (Google)
Abstract: David Lewis [1988, 1996] canvases an anti-Humean thesis about mental states: that the rational agent desires something to the extent that he or she believes it to be good. Lewis offers and refutes a decision-theoretic formulation of it, the ‘Desire-as-Belief Thesis’. Other authors have since added further negative results in the spirit of Lewis’. We explore ways of being anti- Humean that evade all these negative results. We begin by providing background on evidential decision theory, and on Lewis’ negative results. We then introduce what we call the indexicality loophole: if the goodness of a proposition is indexical, partly a function of an agent’s mental state, then the negative results have no purchase. Thus we propose a variant of Desire-as-Belief that exploits this loophole. We argue that a number of meta-ethical positions are committed to just such indexicality. Indeed, we show that with one central sort of evaluative belief — the belief that an option is right — the indexicality loophole can be exploited in various interesting ways. Moreover, on some accounts, ‘good’ is indexical in the same way. Thus, it seems that the anti- Humean can dodge the negative results
Pettit, Philip & Hájek, Alan (2004). Desire beyond belief. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (1):77 – 92.   (Google)
Abstract: David Lewis [1988; 1996] canvases an anti-Humean thesis about mental states: that the rational agent desires something to the extent that he or she believes it to be good. Lewis offers and refutes a decision-theoretic formulation of it, the 'Desire-as-Belief Thesis'. Other authors have since added further negative results in the spirit of Lewis's. We explore ways of being anti-Humean that evade all these negative results. We begin by providing background on evidential decision theory and on Lewis's negative results. We then introduce what we call the indexicality loophole: if the goodness of a proposition is indexical, partly a function of an agent's mental state, then the negative results have no purchase. Thus we propose a variant of Desire-as-Belief that exploits this loophole. We argue that a number of meta-ethical positions are committed to just such indexicality. Indeed, we show that with one central sort of evaluative belief--the belief that an option is right--the indexicality loophole can be exploited in various interesting ways. Moreover, on some accounts, 'good' is indexical in the same way. Thus, it seems that the anti-Humean can dodge the negative results
Pettit, Philip (ms). Desire beyond belief.   (Google)
Abstract: David Lewis [1988; 1996] canvases an anti-Humean thesis about mental states: that the rational agent desires something to the extent that he or she believes it to be good. Lewis offers and refutes a decision-theoretic formulation of it, the `Desire-as- Belief Thesis'. Other authors have since added further negative results in the spirit of Lewis's. We explore ways of being anti-Humean that evade all these negative results. We begin by providing background on evidential decision theory and on Lewis's negative results. We then introduce what we call the indexicality loophole: if the goodness of a proposition is indexical, partly a function of an agent's mental state, then the negative results have no purchase. Thus we propose a variant of Desire-as- Belief that exploits this loophole. We argue that a number of meta-ethical positions are committed to just such indexicality. Indeed, we show that with one central sort of evaluative beliefÐthe belief that an option is rightÐthe indexicality loophole can be exploited in various interesting ways. Moreover, on some accounts, `good' is indexical in the same way. Thus, it seems that the anti-Humean can dodge the negative results

5.1d.2 Desire-Satisfaction Theories of Well-Being

Heathwood, Chris (2006). Desire satisfactionism and hedonism. Philosophical Studies 128 (3):539-563.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Hedonism and the desire-satisfaction theory of welfare (

5.1d.3 Pleasure and Desire

Morillo, Carolyn R. (1990). The reward event and motivation. Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):169-186.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In philosophy, the textbook case for the discussion of human motivation is the examination (and almost always, the refutation) of psychological egoism. The arguments have become part of the folklore of our tribe, from their inclusion in countless introductory texts. [...] One of my central aims has been to define the issues empirically, so we do not just settle them by definition. Although I am inclined at present to put my bets on the reward-event theory, with its internalism, monism, and causal primacy of satisfaction, I think we are very far from knowing enough to settle these questions concerning motivation, human or otherwise. The winds of science will blow where they may. In the meantime, we can be a bit more circumspect about what we put in our tribal folklore.
Schroeder, Timothy (2010). Desire and pleasure in John Pollock's thinking about acting. Philosophical Studies 148 (3).   (Google)
Abstract: The first third of John Pollock’s Thinking about Acting is on the topics of pleasure, desire, and preference, and these topics are the ones on which this paper focuses. I review Pollock’s position and argue that it has at least one substantial strength (it elegantly demonstrates that desires must be more fundamental than preferences, and embraces this conclusion wholeheartedly) and at least one substantial weakness (it holds to a form of psychological hedonism without convincingly answering the philosophical or empirical objections that might be raised)
Schroeder, Timothy (2004). Three Faces of Desire. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 15 | Google | More links)
Abstract: To desire something is a condition familiar to everyone. It is uncontroversial that desiring has something to do with motivation, something to do with pleasure, and something to do with reward. Call these "the three faces of desire." The standard philosophical theory at present holds that the motivational face of desire presents its unique essence--to desire a state of affairs is to be disposed to act so as to bring it about. A familiar but less standard account holds the hedonic face of desire to reveal to true nature of desire. In this view, to desire something is to tend to pleasure if it seems that the desired state of affairs has been achieved, or displeasure if it seems otherwise, thus tying desire to feelings instead of actions. In Three Faces of Desire, Schroeder goes beyond actions and feelings to advance a novel and controversial theory of desire that puts the focus on desire's neglected face, reward. Informed by contemporary science as much as by the philosophical tradition, Three Faces of Desire discusses recent scientific discoveries that tell us much about the way that actions and feelings are produced in the brain. In particular, recent experiments reveal that a distinctive system is responsible for promoting action, on the one hand, and causing feelings of pleasure and displeasure, on the other. This system, the brain's reward system, is the causal origin of both action and feeling, and is the key to understanding the nature of desire

5.1d.4 Theories of Desire, Misc

Schroeder, Timothy (2009). Desire. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.   (Google)
Abstract: To desire is to be in a particular state of mind. It is a state of mind familiar to everyone who has ever wanted to drink water or desired to know what has happened to an old friend, but its familiarity does not make it easy to give a theory of desire. Controversy immediately breaks out when asking whether wanting water and desiring knowledge are, at bottom, the same state of mind as others that seem somewhat similar: wishing never to have been born, preferring mangoes to peaches, craving gin, having world conquest as one's goal, having a purpose in sneaking out to the shed, or being inclined to provoke just for the sake of provocation. These varied states of mind have all been grouped together under the heading of ‘pro attitudes’, but whether the pro attitudes are fundamentally one mental state or many is disputed.
Schroeder, Timothy (2004). Three Faces of Desire. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 15 | Google | More links)
Abstract: To desire something is a condition familiar to everyone. It is uncontroversial that desiring has something to do with motivation, something to do with pleasure, and something to do with reward. Call these "the three faces of desire." The standard philosophical theory at present holds that the motivational face of desire presents its unique essence--to desire a state of affairs is to be disposed to act so as to bring it about. A familiar but less standard account holds the hedonic face of desire to reveal to true nature of desire. In this view, to desire something is to tend to pleasure if it seems that the desired state of affairs has been achieved, or displeasure if it seems otherwise, thus tying desire to feelings instead of actions. In Three Faces of Desire, Schroeder goes beyond actions and feelings to advance a novel and controversial theory of desire that puts the focus on desire's neglected face, reward. Informed by contemporary science as much as by the philosophical tradition, Three Faces of Desire discusses recent scientific discoveries that tell us much about the way that actions and feelings are produced in the brain. In particular, recent experiments reveal that a distinctive system is responsible for promoting action, on the one hand, and causing feelings of pleasure and displeasure, on the other. This system, the brain's reward system, is the causal origin of both action and feeling, and is the key to understanding the nature of desire

5.1d.5 Desire, Misc

Davis, Wayne A. (1984). A causal theory of intending. American Philosophical Quarterly 21 (1):43-54.   (Google)
Abstract: My goal is to define intending. I defend the view that believing and desiring something are necessary for intending it. They are not sufficient, however, for some things we both expect and want (e.g., the sun to rise tomorrow) are unintendable. Restricting the objects of intention to our own future actions is unwarranted and unhelpful. Rather, the belief involved in intending must be based on the desire in a certain way. En route, I argue that expected but unwanted consequences are not intended, examine the two senses of "desire," distinguish intending from being willing, and relate intending to a variety of other propositional at? titudes.
Davis, Wayne A. (1984). The two senses of desire. Philosophical Studies 45 (2):181-195.   (Google)
Abstract: It has often been said that 'desire' is ambiguous. I do not believe the case for this has been made thoroughly enough, however. The claim typically occurs in the course of defending controversial philosophical theses, such as that intention entails desire, where it tends to look ad hoc. There is need, therefore, for a thorough and single-minded exploration of the ambiguity. I believe the results will be more profound than might be suspected.
May, Joshua (forthcoming). Relational Desires and Empirical Evidence against Psychological Egoism. European Journal of Philosophy.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Roughly, psychological egoism is the thesis that all of a person's intentional actions are ultimately self-interested in some sense; psychological altruism is the thesis that some of a person's intentional actions are not ultimately self-interested, since some are ultimately other-regarding in some sense. C. Daniel Batson and other social psychologists have argued that experiments provide support for a theory called the "empathy-altruism hypothesis" that entails the falsity of psychological egoism. However, several critics claim that there are egoistic explanations of the data that are still not ruled out. One of the most potent criticisms of Batson comes from Elliott Sober and David Sloan Wilson. I argue for two main theses in this paper: (1) we can improve on Sober and Wilson’s conception of psychological egoism and altruism, and (2) this improvement shows that one of the strongest of Sober and Wilson's purportedly egoistic explanations is not tenable. A defense of these two theses goes some way toward defending Batson‘s claim that the evidence from social psychology provides sufficient reason to reject psychological egoism.
Mele, Alfred R. (1990). Irresistible desires. Noûs 24 (3):455-72.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The topic of irresistible desires arises with unsurprising frequency in discussions of free agency and moral responsibility. Actions motivated by such desires are standardly viewed as compelled, and hence unfree. Agents in the grip of irresistible desires are often plausibly exempted from moral blame for intentional deeds in which the desires issue. Yet, relatively little attention has been given to the analysis of irresistible desire. Moreover, a popular analysis is fatally flawed. My aim in this paper is to construct and defend a new analysis of irresistible desire. Although, to render the discussion manageable, I shall keep the issues of freedom and responsibility to one side, readers will see them in the background at every major turn.