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Marcel wants Albertine - (B X wants a more than b iff X...

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Marcel wants Albertine; or at least, he expends much effort trying to get her to move in with him. But as soon as he knows that she will, he finds himself indifferent to the prospect. He concludes that in some sense he never really wanted her at all. Problems with the second dimension (i) Is happiness too restricted a notion? Pleased that? Satisfied that? Glad that? Or a list: pleased, or joyful or relieved ... (ii) Can’t we be pleased by things we didn’t want, and made miserable by things we did want? The beauty queen a year on. The pleasure machine. The hot chilli pickle. Don’t we think of desire as more prospective than this makes it? Revisions of the second dimension (A) X wants a more than b iff X believes that he would be more pleased if a happened (rather than b), than if b happened (rather than a). Problems: the pleasure machine; doesn’t help with the beauty queen example.
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Unformatted text preview: (B) X wants a more than b iff X would be more pleased to learn that a was going to happen (rather than b), than that b was going to happen (rather than a). Problems with (B) Imagine an old rationalist whose daughter wants to be a nun. He loves his daughter, and wants her to be what she wants to be. But he cannot bear the idea of her being a nun. Despairing of reconciling his basic wants, he just wants that she be a nun but he not know that she is. Bernard Williams, ‘Egoism and Altruism’ Henry wants his wife to organize a birthday party for him but only if it’s a surprise, i.e. only if he doesn’t know that she’s going to. If he were to know that she was going to do it, he’d rather that she didn’t do it at all....
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