What's the name of an object that possesses a desire?

As examples, all humans possess desires. More generally, sentient beings possess desires. However, we can up the abstraction. Organizations possess desires. States possess desires.

What is the name of an entity that possesses desires?

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    Sorry, maybe I chose the wrong word. By 'object,' I just mean 'thing.' I'm using object in the broadest sense possible. By my definition, a human being is an object. – extremeaxe5 Jun 12 '18 at 11:26
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    I think that neither the English language nor the Courts of the Judiciary agree with you, there. A corpse is an 'object'. A living human is a person. – Nigel J Jun 12 '18 at 11:36
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    extremeaxe, There's a reason those entities are called "bodies" -- they possess and/or exhibit features of living organisms -- desire being just one of them. – Kris Jun 12 '18 at 12:05
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    It is unclear what you are looking for. Are you trying to fill a slot in a sentence, and the syntax for that slot requires it to be a single word? Or are you philosophizing and wondering what the label should be in the abstract relation of 'X desires Y', analagous to, say, an employer employs an employee? – Mitch Jun 12 '18 at 13:20
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    @NigelJ can you provide some evidence of this claim? I was under the impression that ‘object’ is in fact a very specific word that refers to the class of everything in the universe of discourse. Humans are organisms, which are physical objects, which are objects. Sets are objects. Groups are monoids are sets are objects. Sets and humans are very different, one being physical, and he other being abstract, but they are both objects. If you reserve the word ‘object’ to refer to inanimate, physical objects, then what word do you use to refer to the class of all possible things? – extremeaxe5 Jun 13 '18 at 12:24

Relations are made of three concepts, a subject, the relation, and an object.

For example, in an employment relation, there is an employer (the one offering the job) and the employee (the one doing the work).

If you want to label the three items in a relation 'X is related to Y' which is specific to the relation 'desires', then that is very easy. Based on the 'employs' example, the subject would be

the desirer

and object

the desired.

But that sounds infelicitous, very formal and technical; 'desirer' is formed according to legal word formation rules in English but it is not a common term (it's not a common concept). It would totally work in a philosophical exposition, but not going out for a smoke behind the fast food joint.

Which is all to say there is no natural sounding term for the subject of desire, unlike 'employer' which works so well for its relation.


I don't think you're going to find a noun for this. But if you assume that desires always have objects, then an adjective could be goal oriented.

In other words, the goal of any such object is to meet a certain goal (to acquire the object of its "desire").

In such a sense, a baby is goal oriented toward getting food, and a business is goal oriented toward maximizing profit.

Although I don't normally supply Wikipedia references, here is something on programming languages. The emphasis is mine.

Very high-level programming languages are usually domain-specific languages, limited to a very specific application, purpose, or type of task, and they are often scripting languages (especially extension languages), controlling a specific environment. For this reason, very high-level programming languages are often referred to as goal-oriented programming languages.

The idea of goal modelling is also related. Here, as it applies to businesses.

In a reverse sense, then, anything that has a purpose (or function or goal) has a "desire" for those things that fulfill its purpose.

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