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WIREs Cogn Sci
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Desire: philosophical issues

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Abstract To desire something is to want it, wish it, long for it. Various leading theories of this attitude exist, with the most prominent theory holding that to desire something is nothing more than to be inclined to take actions that will obtain that thing. Other important theories tie desires to pleasure and displeasure, to reasons and goodness, or to reward learning. All of these theories leave room for scientific investigation of what causes us to desire, and of what else desires might cause in us. Philosophical speculation on these topics has focused, in the former case, on the generation of new desires from existing desires. In the latter case, it has roamed across topics diverse as the influence of desire on cognition, the relation of desire to mental disorder, and causation of self‐knowledge of one's own desires. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. This article is categorized under: Philosophy > Action Philosophy > Foundations of Cognitive Science

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