The verdictive organization of desire

Derek Clayton BAKER

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


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. The paper argues that one’s judgment about one wants most will sometimes play a verdictive role, partially determining what the agent most wants, and so making itself true.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-612
Number of pages24
JournalCanadian Journal of Philosophy
Issue number5
Early online date9 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Desires
  • Humean theory of reasons
  • practical rationality
  • practical reason
  • self-knowledge


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