An important variant of action-based theories of desire holds thatdesires are mental states that have the function of producing actions,rather than mental states that merely dispose agents to act. On thesetheories, a desire might or might not dispose an actor to satisfy thedesire, but causing that result is the job or purpose of the desire(the biological function of the desire), or bringing about thesatisfaction of the desire is how the action-production systems dotheir jobs or fulfill their purposes (Millikan 1984; Papineau 1987).While these variations do well with Stampe-type objections (because itis not the purpose of a belief that one is going to double fault tocause a double fault), they nonetheless would seem to be subject toobjections by those who think that beliefs in the good can also performtheir functions by moving one to act.
To overcome these latter objections, the action-based theorist mayfollow any of a number of lines of argument. The action-based theoristmay argue that mere beliefs in goodness cannot move agents to act,given an independently motivated theory of belief in general (aposition open to many philosophers of mind with complementary theoriesof belief and desire). Or he may argue that there is an incoherence inthe principles by which one should revise a belief in goodness and bywhich one should revise one's dispositions to act (see thediscussion of Lewis below in section 1.3), so that there is somethingincoherent in the idea of a belief in goodness that also moves one toact. Or, in a more concessive spirit, he may allow that theaction-based theory of desire should be supplemented with otherelements (dispositions to pleasure, for instance) not characteristic ofbeliefs in goodness.
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Since, on Scanlon's view, reasons are considerations thatcount in favor of propositions, it follows from this theory that adesire p exists if one's attention is directedinsistently toward apparent reasons to have it be the case thatp. This is where the evaluative element enters the theory(Scanlon 1998).
For Blanche Dubois in the play her family (or what is left of it) and their surrounding is the society, her judges and her life. She desperately tries to elude the reality, to become someone she is not, someone better, she tries to forget her past and keep it a secret from her new surrounding, but her past overtakes her, and the only way they is to escape it lies deeper in the fantasies about the ideal surrounding, a life full of comfort and beauty, a brand new society.
The most important thing was that the society did not notice Blanche’s departure for the asylum; she had no utility and was written off the list long before her arrival to her sister’s place in New Orleans. She was surely an inconvenient element in hew home town, that is why the community pressed for her departure. And although Blanche Dubois’ moral values were far from being ideal, she hardly deserved such cruelty from her relatives, the society and the old and new acquaintances she had along the way. She has suffered enough to be so vulnerable to cruelty; she deserved a chance for a new life Stanley deprived her of so mercilessly, as well as the society did.
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But despite my best efforts to avoid speaking in front of groups, only a few years later here I was, a regular feature in a conference room, flushing and stammering over the most basic presentations.
If Blanche had money, the relationships between them might have included some hints to the exploitation of workers by the owners of capital, but Blanche was broke, and Stanley was impressive for a woman not to give in, especially for a woman like Blache. She has certainly envied her sister’s relationship with her husband, although they were based on desire and physical attraction. Blanche’s idea of justice did not make up with her younger sister’s escape from the family, her freedom and her new family. Stanly did not meet Blanche’s social standards, but he surely did meet the standards of manhood Blanche found so much relief in.
This hadn't been in the job description when I was hired, of that I was sure. To my ebullient and outgoing boss, whose favorite color was leopard-print, the task may have been such a non-issue that she didn't bother to mention it until my second day. As we filled our coffee mugs side by side in the office kitchenette, she dropped the bomb: “Oh, I almost forgot, you'll have to give updates on what you're working on at staff meetings—no big deal, just a quick, report. Like two minutes.”
As persuasively and sensitively as Tolstoy renders Levin and Kitty’s relationship, it is nonetheless a very particular type of marriage, one between a thinking man who sought not an intellectual partner but a complement, a yin to his yang—a lovely young wife, a “good” woman—only to find that coexistent with such goodness are desires of her own. Tolstoy treats this kind of complementary marriage as a given: what a sensitive but also sensible man like Levin would naturally seek.