In What Sense is Desire a Propositional Attitude?
When S believes that P, the content of S's belief is that P. But for other “propositional” attitudes, the respective notions of content vary considerably. This paper looks at desire, and at a series of increasingly grave reasons for doubting that desire is propositional in the straightforward way belief is. I will agree with doubters that desire content works differently from belief content in each of several important ways, but argue in the end that the differences should not be expressed by saying that desire is not propositional at all. Along the way there is a discussion of conditional desire, with a comparison to conditional obligation.