Colloquium: Defending Desires as Value Data

In my book *Value Reality and Desire* (OUP 2005) I offered a conjecture about the nature of value data: namely, that the basic unit of value data is desire. A desire for P is, in fact, nothing but P’s appearing or seeming good. i.e.

X desires that P iff P seems to X to be good.

The relevant seeming here is analogous to perceptual seeming, rather than mere doxastic seeming. This thesis has a number of things going for it. Inter alia: the source of value data is not weird; desires provide the necessary link between value judgements and motivation, but one which is not too tight; combined with an additional thesis about the perspectival nature of value appearances it avoids a major defect of the fitting-attitude account of value. But it has attracted some apparently powerful objections, which in this paper I will try to defuse.

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