Philosophy of Action, Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind
Ethics, Meta-ethics, Logic
My dissertation attempts to provide a theory of desires. If we conceive of a sincere assertion as the natural expression of the attitude of believing, and a sincere question as the natural expression of the attitude of wondering, then what would be the natural expression of the attitude of desiring? In my dissertation, I suggest that the answer is a sincere (self-directed) command. Specifically, a desire to perform an action (an action-desire) is like a sincere command in at least three respects. First, we do not ordinarily conceive of an action-desire as truth-evaluable. Second, one assents to an action-desire by adopting an intention in response to and in compliance with it. Third, the formal aim of an action-desire is the attainable (i.e., a possible future outcome). I refer to the conjunction of the three preceding claims as the Desire-as-Imperative Thesis.