Life Studies Blog (Old)

December 09, 2004

Philosophy of desire, Three faces of desire, painless civilization (by M)

I happened to visit the website of the book, Three Faces of Desire, by Timothy Schroeder (his website) at I skimmed the first several pages on that webpage and found that he distinguished among "desire","want", and "wish", and went on to talk about three faces of desire, namely, "motivation", "reward", and "pleasure". I have not read his book, so I am not sure what he wants to say in detail, but I think philosophy of desire is an interesting philosophical topic. Probably, the author's philosophical background is "philosophical analysis," or philosophy of language in Anglo-Saxson philosophy, so the emphasis may be placed on the analysis of the use and meaning of the words.

There are many philosphical traditions in the world, including European-Continental philosophy, British-American philosphy, Indian philosophy, Chinese philosophy, Japanese philosophy, Islamic philosophy etc. And in each we would probably be able to find important phisophy(ies) of desire, for example. These days I am so curious about those philosophical traditions, and what they have been thinking about various philosophical topics. Fortunately, many important philosophical works are translated into English and/or Japanese (except for those in Islam, Africa, Latin America, and South East Asia), so I want to read them and think with them.

In my book,
Painless Civilization, (2003), I distinguished between two forms of desire, namely, "desire of the body" and "desire of life." The desire of the body is a desire that makes us keep pleasure and comfort, and the desire of life is a desire that seeks to dismantle the desire of the body from within one's life. I believe this idea is new and stimulating to those who are interested in this topic. I want to write the essence in English in the near future.

Anyway, I have modified the whole design of the website,
International Network for Life Studies.

Photo: A poster of Kyoto.

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