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Three Faces of Desire : Philosophy of Mind Series - Timothy Schroeder

Three Faces of Desire

Philosophy of Mind Series

Hardcover Published: 1st August 2004
ISBN: 9780195172379
Number Of Pages: 224

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To desire something is a condition familiar to everyone. It is uncontroversial that desiring has something to do with motivation, something to do with pleasure, and something to do with reward. Call these "the three faces of desire." The standard philosophical theory at present holds that the motivational face of desire presents its unique essence--to desire a state of affairs is to be disposed to act so as to bring it about. A familiar but less standard account holds the hedonic face of desire to reveal to true nature of desire. In this view, to desire something is to tend to pleasure if it seems that the desired state of affairs has been achieved, or displeasure if it seems otherwise, thus tying desire to feelings instead of actions.
In Three Faces of Desire, Schroeder goes beyond actions and feelings to advance a novel and controversial theory of desire that puts the focus on desire's neglected face, reward. Informed by contemporary science as much as by the philosophical tradition, Three Faces of Desire discusses recent scientific discoveries that tell us much about the way that actions and feelings are produced in the brain. In particular, recent experiments reveal that a distinctive system is responsible for promoting action, on the one hand, and causing feelings of pleasure and displeasure, on the other. This system, the brain's reward system, is the causal origin of both action and feeling, and is the key to understanding the nature of desire.

"A refreshing reexamination of desire theoryThree Faces of Desire introduces a rich body of neuroscientific data that has been neglected by philosophy of mind for some time, but because of the use Schroeder has made of it, it is doubtful that this neglect will persist for long."-Anthony Landreth, Philosophical Psychology "...ambitious, informative, and very often insightful..." --Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews "The central claim of this book, which identifies desire as essentially grounded in the reward function, rather than in terms of its more obvious links with motivation and pleasure, is a major contribution to philosophy. In addition, we get a persuasive representational theory of pleasure. Both theses are original, philosophically subtle and scientifically informed, and Schroeder defends them with spectacular virtuosity. Schroeder's writing is energetic, pithy and direct, and as easy to follow as the subject allows. This is a splendid book, which should attract wide attention."--Ronald de Sousa, University of Toronto "Three Faces of Desire is an interesting contribution to the philosophical debate about the nature of desire. The infusion of neuroscientific data should provide a new focus for this debate. Schroeder deserves praise for directing us towards a new understanding of the nature of desire."--Metapsychology "Schroeder's account of desire is marvelously integrative and original. Sophisticated in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience, the book weaves these fields into a seamless whole. The result is fascinating, first-rate scholarship." --Kent Berridge, University of Michigan "In these pages, Schroeder demolishes prevailing philosophical theories of desire and defends an exciting new account based on recent advances in neuroscience. Schroeder's conversational prose makes the book accessible to uninitiated readers and entertaining for all. For philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists interested in motivation, it is absolutely essential. Desire, that elusive and unstable pillar of folk psychology, has finally found a secure foundation in the circuit board of the brain."--Jesse J. Prinz, University of North Carolina "A refreshing reexamination of desire theoryThree Faces of Desire introduces a rich body of neuroscientific data that has been neglected by philosophy of mind for some time, but because of the use Schroeder has made of it, it is doubtful that this neglect will persist for long."-Anthony Landreth, Philosophical Psychology "...ambitious, informative, and very often insightful..." --Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews "Three Faces of Desire is an interesting contribution to the philosophical debate about the nature of desire. The infusion of neuroscientific data should provide a new focus for this debate. Schroeder deserves praise for directing us towards a new understanding of the nature of desire."--Metapsychology "In these pages, Schroeder demolishes prevailing philosophical theories of desire and defends an exciting new account based on recent advances in neuroscience. Schroeder's conversational prose makes the book accessible to uninitiated readers and entertaining for all. For philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists interested in motivation, it is absolutely essential. Desire, that elusive and unstable pillar of folk psychology, has finally found a secure foundation in the circuit board of the brain."--Jesse J. Prinz, University of North Carolina "Schroeder's account of desire is marvelously integrative and original. Sophisticated in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience, the book weaves these fields into a seamless whole. The result is fascinating, first-rate scholarship." --Kent Berridge, University of Michigan "The central claim of this book, which identifies desire as essentially grounded in the reward function, rather than in terms of its more obvious links with motivation and pleasure, is a major contribution to philosophy. In addition, we get a persuasive representational theory of pleasure. Both theses are original, philosophically subtle and scientifically informed, and Schroeder defends them with spectacular virtuosity. Schroeder's writing is energetic, pithy and direct, and as easy to follow as the subject allows. This is a splendid book, which should attract wide attention."--Ronald de Sousa, University of Toronto

The standard theory and its rivalsp. 10
Reward and punishmentp. 38
Pleasure and displeasurep. 71
The production and prevention of movementp. 107
Desire and aversionp. 131
Clean and messy theoriesp. 162
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195172379
ISBN-10: 019517237X
Series: Philosophy of Mind Series
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 1st August 2004
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.1 x 16.4  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.49