I believe--as I shall try to prove in a later lecture -that desire, like force in mechanics, is of the nature of a convenient fiction for describing shortly certain laws of behaviour.
What, I think, is clearly established, is that a man's actions and beliefs may be wholly dominated by a desire of which he is quite unconscious, and which he indignantly repudiates when it is suggested to him.
He would even risk his cakes and would deliberately desire the most fatal rubbish, the most uneconomical absurdity, simply to introduce into all this positive good sense his fatal fantastic element.
But when all that is explained and worked out on paper (which is perfectly possible, for it is contemptible and senseless to suppose that some laws of nature man will never understand), then certainly so-called desires will no longer exist.
I do not know how that can be accomplished, he said, nor do I desire
that justice should be brought to light and temperance lost sight of; and therefore I wish that you would do me the favour of considering temperance first.
But Adam did not crave it, Nor the flight he wouldn't brave it, Singing:--"Air and Water, Earth and Fire, What more can mortal man desire
?"(The Apple Tree's in bloom.)
SOCRATES: And does he who desires
the honourable also desire
"But suppose he desires
to do two opposite things, neither of which will permit him to do the other?" Maud interrupted.
As he had from a child a taste for painting, and as, not knowing what to spend his money on, he had begun collecting engravings, he came to a stop at painting, began to take interest in it, and concentrated upon it the unoccupied mass of desires
which demanded satisfaction.
At the sea would she suck, and drink its depths to her height: now riseth the desire
of the sea with its thousand breasts.
And the point is that this development of desire
was entirely in my brain.
Now, leave me, and desire
my valet de chambre to come hither." Scarcely had Ali disappeared when the valet entered the chamber.
And, in fine, I could not have restrained my desires
, nor remained satisfied had I not followed a path in which I thought myself certain of attaining all the knowledge to the acquisition of which I was competent, as well as the largest amount of what is truly good which I could ever hope to secure Inasmuch as we neither seek nor shun any object except in so far as our understanding represents it as good or bad, all that is necessary to right action is right judgment, and to the best action the most correct judgment, that is, to the acquisition of all the virtues with all else that is truly valuable and within our reach; and the assurance of such an acquisition cannot fail to render us contented.
Secondly, that what is commonly called love, namely, the desire
of satisfying a voracious appetite with a certain quantity of delicate white human flesh, is by no means that passion for which I here contend.
Ermolov, Miloradovich, Platov, and others in proximity to the French near Vyazma could not resist their desire
to cut off and break up two French corps, and by way of reporting their intention to Kutuzov they sent him a blank sheet of paper in an envelope.