This first part of the series thinks about the way that desires can conflict between an individual and the majority in the society. It considers whether John Stuart Mill’s harm principle is a possible solution.
One way to think about desires is to try to satisfy everyone (or as many people as possible). This second part of the series considers whether John Stuart Mill’s utilitarianism is a good approach to desires.
If doing the right thing is not simply trying to satisfy everyone, then acting morally is different from acting on my desires. This third installment examines Immanuel Kant’s discussion of motives and the good will.
Basing morality upon desires is problematic, but if we do not do so, then we must explain why we should be moral. This fourth part of the series thinks about how we might motivate morality without appealing to desires, by looking at Immanuel Kant’s principle of autonomy.
One reason I might be moral is because I have some good desires that overrule my problematic ones. Nel Noddings gives an answer along these lines to the question of moral motivation. In this fifth part of the series I examine her account of the ideal self as a person who is caring.
As a conclusion to the series on desires, I look at a few of the key points from previous posts. The Bible’s accounts of fearing God and loving my neighbor tie the points together and explain why I should be moral in the face of my conflicting desires.