Defending the motivational theory of desire



Published 17-03-2021
David Pineda-Oliva


In this paper I offer a defense of the motivational theory of desire. According to the motivational view, a desire is basically a disposition to bring about the desire’s content. First, I argue that two rival views on the nature of desire, the evaluative theory and the deontic theory, fall prey to the problem of the death of desire and that, when one tries to develop a plausible version of these theories which is able to overcome this problem, one ends up with a view that is not relevantly different from the evaluative view. Second, I respond to some objections to the claim that motivations are sufficient for desire, namely, the Radioman objection and the objection that some motivational states like intentions and habits are not desires.


How to Cite

Pineda-Oliva, D. (2021). Defending the motivational theory of desire. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 36(2), 243–260.
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desires, motivational theory of desire, evaluative theory of desire, deontic view of desire, death of desire, intentions, habits.