It is owing to their having a value for self that they become ‘objects of desire, whose character, even whose existence, may be said to be dependent upon the character of the self to whom they appeal’
For example, the desire for social service was intimately linked with Mahitma Gandhi’s character and self.
Social service was of tremendous value to his self because it concurred with his character, and that is why he did social service in this way desire and self have a close relation.
All desires are desires of some self. In the words of F.H. Bradley, “In desire what is desired must in all cases be self.”
An individual gets self satisfaction when desires are fulfilled. At the base of this self satisfaction is character. Self satisfaction can come only if the object coincides with the nature of the self.
1. Muirhead has deduced the following conclusion about the
elation between self, character and desire.
1. Human desires are not mere thoughtless motives which aimlessly motivate man hither and thither, they are always for objects, and thus, they are distinguished from animal hunger and lust.
2. These objects or aims have two types of relations with the self—
(a) They are organically related to the character of the self.
(b) They are related to the self because the latter seeks satisfaction through objects.
Universe of desires:
Distinguishing between appetite and desire, Mackenzie has written, “The desires of a person, therefore, are not an isolated phenomenon, but forms an element in the totality or as we may say, the universe of his character.
Here Mackenzie’s notion of the “Universe of Desires’ assists in the understanding of the relation between self, character and desire.
It is, thus, desirable to elaborate it an individual does not persist hi the same universe of desires at all times Often, the objects for which we have an acute desire sometimes are not just revolting at another time, we avidly try to avoid them.
For example, it can be seen, a lover does not see any defects in his beloved or friend when in love, but the same lover finds it hard to discover any good qualities hi her when he develops apathy for her beloved when he is bored of her or hates her. He wants to run away from her.
Elaborating this fact, Freud says that love and hate go together this type of mutually contradictory desires come from different universes of desires. This universe, at that particular time, is his character and his lethal viewpoint and man often passes from one universe to another.
Conflict in desires:
But from this it should not be concluded that man lives hi only one universe of desires at one tune because had it been so, there would have been no conflict of desires.
Thus, the position is that man has before him many diversities or that he travels through these universes of desires at such a speed that they may be regarded practically to exist simultaneously. In this way, often man’s ego seems divided into many parts.
The Kauravas, the Pandavas and Kurukhshtra are all seen in the same self. Hegel has put the same thing in these words: “I am not one of the combatants, but rather birth of the combatants and also the combat itself.
” Prof. Dewey writes, “It is important to notice that it is a strife or conflict which goes on hi the man himself; it is a conflict of with himself himself-“Principal card puts it this way: “I am at once the combatants and the conflict and the field that is torn with strife.
Moral deliberation takes place in this conflict Moral judgment takes place in the same and its basis is the will. This will expresses the conduct -and conduct is the external form of character. In this way will express our “self.
Therefore Muirhead has said, “Hence it will be indifferent whether we say that moral judgments attach to conduct or to the will or self, that realizes itself in conduct.