concepts akin to but different from desire:
- élan vital
- intentionality, sense, direction
- matrixial borderspace
- need, demand, drive
- cause (efficient, formal, material, final)
- passion, instinct, hunger, lust, longing, attraction, want, preference, limerence
Agnes, like a marionette out of Kleist, only without strings, now watches strings emerging from her in every direction: she rejects her breasts, her vagina, he eyes for seeing, her hands for touching. —Deleuze. Two Regimes of Madness. p109.
In this volume I have reviewed and critiqued the evolution of the Humean conception of the self in mid- to late-twentieth century Anglo-American moral philosophy through close attention to its use in the hands of several of its leading proponents, as they have developed its foundational notion of desire in response to certain basic dilemmas this conception generates. I have tried to track the ways in which the notion of desire has proliferated from the commonsense, prereflective concept of a desire, to that of desire as a theoretical construct, to that of desire as a dispositional response, to that of an unconscious desire, to that of a behaviorally revealed desire, to that of an internally coherent system of desires, to that of cardinally and then ordinally ranked desires, to the distinction between motivated and unmotivated desires, to that between first- and higher-order desires, to that between self-directed and other-directed desires, to that between object-dependent, principle-dependent, and conception-dependent desires, to that between blindfolded and fully informed desires. And I have tried to show that none of these sophisticated epicyclic refinements of the fundamental notion of a desire solve or avoid the basic dilemmas this notion engenders. —Piper, Adrian. Rationality and the Structure of the Self. Volume I: The Humean Conception. Chapter XV. Seven Dogmas of Humeanism.
The Kantian Theory of Desire. Anti-Oedipus can be said to find its primary model in the Critique of Practical Reason, since it was Kant who first defined the faculty of desire as a productive faculty (“a faculty which, by means of its representations, is the cause of the actuality of the objects of those representations”). We know why Kant defined desire in terms of production: the problem of freedom concerns the operation by which a free being can be the cause of something that is not reducible to the causal determinism of mechanism. Of course, Kant was aware that real objects could be produced only by an external causality and external mechanisms; in what he called “pathological” productions of desire, what is produced is merely a psychic reality (having a fantastic, hallucinatory, or delirious object) (AO25). Nonetheless, this was Kant’s Copernican Revolution in practical philosophy: desire is no longer defined in terms of lack (I desire something because I don’t have it), but rather in terms of production(I produce the object because I desire it). The fundamental thesis of Anti-Oedipus is a stronger variant of Kant’s claim; Kant pushed to his necessary conclusion: “If desire produces, its product is real,” and not merely a fantasy. “There is no particular form of existence that can be labeled ‘psychic reality’”. Indeed, Deleuze states this conclusion in explicitly Lacanian terms: “The objective being of desire is the Real in and of itself” (the subject itself is a product of desire). —Smith, Daniel. The Inverse Side of the Structure.