For the modern notion, see Appetite.

Appetition, or appetite, is a longing for or seeking after something. It is one of the two aspects of desire, the other being volition.[1]

Aristotle makes the distinction as follows:

Everything, too, is pleasant for which we have the desire within us, since desire is the craving for pleasure. Of the desires some are irrational, some associated with reason. By irrational I mean those which do not arise from any opinion held by the mind. Of this kind are those known as ‘natural’; for instance, those originating in the body, such as the desire for nourishment, namely hunger and thirst, and a separate kind of desire answering to each kind of nourishment; and the desires connected with taste and sex and sensations of touch in general; and those of smell, hearing, and vision. Rational desires are those which we are induced to have; there are many things we desire to see or get because we have been told of them and induced to believe them good.[2]


  1. "Peripatetic philosophy" in Lieber, Francis; Wigglesworth, Edward; Bradford, T. G. (1832). Encyclopedia Americana. 10.
  2. Rhetoric 1370a18-27, trans. W. Rhys Roberts

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