“Self-Reflection and the Verdictive Organization of Desire” by Derek Baker (20 Mar)

Deliberation often begins with the question “What do I want to do?” rather than a question about what one ought to do. This paper takes that question at face value, as a question about which of one’s desires is strongest, which sometimes guides action.  The paper aims to explain which properties of a desire make that desire strong, in the sense of strength relevant to this deliberative question.

Both motivational force and phenomenological intensity seem relevant to a desire’s strength; however, accounting for the strength of a desire in terms of these opens up significant indeterminacy about what we want.  The paper argues that this indeterminacy is often resolved simply by posing the question “What do I want to do?” to oneself: there is reason to believe that one’s answer will play a verdictive role, partially determining what the agent most wants.

Philosophy Seminar Series.
Date: Thursday, 20 Mar 2014
Time: 2 pm – 4 pm
Venue: Philosophy Resource Room (AS3 #05-23)
Speaker: Derek Baker, Lingnan University
Moderator: Dr. Ben Blumson

About the Speaker:

Photo on 3-3-14 at 11.34 AM #2Derek Baker is an Assistant Professor at Lingnan University, Hong Kong.  He completed his PhD at Princeton University in 2009.  He works on the nature of autonomy, practical rationality, desire, the relation between self-knowledge and freedom, and problems in expressivism.  His papers have been published in Philosophical Studies and Australasian Journal of Philosophy.  He has also served as Associate Editor for AJP since 2012.  He is currently working on a book.  Its most recent working title (which he probably won’t change again) is An Almost Unified Theory of the Self.  He used to have hobbies, but no longer has time for them.

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