In discussing the merits of moral expressivism the following example came up. I was maintaining that desires are inherently evaluative in that they represent something as something that should be the case. Put differently, what it means to desire/want something is to think that it should be the case -- If S desires that x, then S believes that it would be better if x were true than not. If this is so, then the expressivist cannot appeal to desires.
My claim is that the only thing that trumps our desire for x (belief that x being true would be better than not) is a higher-order desire for y (belief that y being true would be better than not and better than x being true and y and x cannot both be true).
A collegue presented the idea that his dog has desires (to go outside, for a treat) but that he (the dog) lacks the capacity to think that if the world realized those desires it would be better than if it did not.
I don't think so. I think that once we grant desires we've granted the capacity to think of something as better. I'm not sure whether the dog has both though or neither, but I'm leaning toward both.