Essay on Argument Against Desire Satisfaction Theory

Published: 2021/11/30
Number of words: 723

The desire satisfaction theory posits that the overall level of desire satisfaction is the ultimate determinant of a person’s well-being. The theory argues that the more you get whatever you desire, the better your life is, and when you do not get whatever you desire, your well-being is negatively impacted, so your life goes badly. Compared to other rival theories, this theory exhibits huge flexibility in what sort of life individuals can count as good life (Heathwood 7-8). It allows for almost any life to be counted as a good life since its flexibility allows individuals to desire almost anything.

Need an essay assistance?
Our professional writers are here to help you.
Place an order

However, I feel this theory is not a desirable theory of well-being since wanting something does not make it good for it to be satisfied. In contrast to the desire theory, which argues that we confer goodness of something based on our desire for them, it can be argued that what makes something good depends on whether it possesses features that make it worth wanting. Thus, for the desires to be considered good, such things should have some characteristics that prove them as worthy wanting (Shafer-Landau 289). Otherwise, if they possess features that do not make them worthy wanting, then these goods might not be the ultimate determinants of a person’s well-being. In fact, failure to acquire such goods might prove better for an individual’s well-being.

The above claim against the desire satisfaction theory can be illustrated by a case of an individual whose desire is to take addictive and extremely dangerous drugs such as cocaine. Initially, such an individual may not know the dangers and negative effects of the drug and might take the drugs for a prolonged time without experiencing any negative outcomes. However, after some time, say six months, the individual might find themself struggling with addiction. Besides, the drugs can take a toll on their mental health hence leaving them struggling with depression. Besides, after a few months, he might be caught by the police and thrown into prison, thus completely ruining their life. While the dire satisfaction theory would argue that the drug was satisfied and so was good for the individual, any logical person would argue that satisfying the desire for the drug was not good for them. Instead of making life good for the users, it left them struggling with depression and ruined their life by throwing them into prison.

Worry about your grades?
See how we can help you with our essay writing service.

While the desire satisfaction theory argues that an individual’s quality of life depends on the extent to which they get what they want, this theory deserves rejection since it is too accepting of individual desires and does not account for some ways or scenarios in which these desires are subject to evaluation (Shafer-Landau 287). In some scenarios, abandoning the desire satisfaction results in more desirable outcomes through enabling individuals live a better life than the life they would live if they continue to pursue their desires. This scenario can be illustrated by the scenario of an individual suffering from depression. Depressed individuals usually lack the desire for things that would otherwise have been better for them. Even though such individuals lack desires for things that would otherwise be good for them, lack of desire for such things means they are getting what they want. As previously stated, the desire satisfaction theory judges whether an individual’s life is going well based on whether they are getting what they want. Thus, this theory seems to argue that a depressed person may be living a good life. In contrast, such individuals are living bad life.

Thus, generally, the desire satisfaction theory contains serious flaws that make it worthy of rejection. The fact that it is too accepting of the desires without subjecting the desires to evaluation to determine how some actions impact an individual’s well-being means it falls short in explaining the determinants of an individual’s well-being. The fact that individuals may desire goods such as dangerous drugs that may not possess features that make them desirable means further makes the theory worthy nullifying.

Works Cited

Heathwood, Chris. “Desire Satisfactionism And Hedonism”. Philosophical Studies, vol 128, no. 3, 2006, pp. 539-563. Springer Science And Business Media LLC, Accessed 3 Oct 2021.

Shafer-Landau, Russ. Ethical Theory An Antology. 2nd ed., Blackwell, 2012, pp. 287-290.

Cite this page

Choose cite format:
Online Chat Messenger Email
+44 800 520 0055