2nd attempt: an egoistic desire is an I-desire First step: reformulate all desires as attitudes to propositions. e.g. ‘I want an apple’ becomes ‘I want that I have an apple’; ‘I want to see the Matterhorn’ becomes ‘I want that I see the Matterhorn’. Then the suggestion is that egoistic desires are those that begin ‘I want that I . ..’ Call these I-desires (the term is from Bernard Williams). Suppose that I want to send money to the starving. Is this an egotistic desire? It depends whether the fundamental state is: ‘I desire that I send money to the starting’ (in which case it is); or whether it is simply: ‘I desire that the starving are sent some money’ (in which case it isn’t). This still isn’t quite right (some I-desires are not obviously egoistic: ‘I want that I do the right thing’; ‘I want that my children do well’) but it is good enough to be going on with. Let’s return to Lincoln. What is the content of his desire? Feinberg thinks he must really desire
This is the end of the preview. Sign up
access the rest of the document.