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  1. George Ainslie (2009). Pleasure and Aversion: Challenging the Conventional Dichotomy. Inquiry 52 (4):357 – 377.
    Philosophy and its descendents in the behavioral sciences have traditionally divided incentives into those that are sought and those that are avoided. Positive incentives are held to be both attractive and memorable because of the direct effects of pleasure. Negative incentives are held to be unattractive but still memorable (the problem of pain) because they force unpleasant emotions on an individual by an unmotivated process, either a hardwired response (unconditioned response) or one substituted by association (conditioned response). Negative incentives are (...)
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  2. Marie-Luise Angerer & Patricia T. Clough (2014). Desire After Affect. Rowman & Littlefield International.
    Desire After Affect offers a detailed analysis of the affective turn and its consequences for the humanities.
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  3. Murat Aydede (forthcoming). A Contemporary Account of Sensory Pleasure. In Lisa Shapiro (ed.), Pleasure: A History. Oxford University Press.
    [This is the penultimate version, please send me an email for the final version]. Some sensations are pleasant, some unpleasant, and some are neither. Furthermore, those that are pleasant or unpleasant are so to different degrees. In this essay, I want to explore what kind of a difference is the difference between these three kinds of sensations. I will develop a comprehensive three-level account of sensory pleasure that is simultaneously adverbialist, functionalist and is also a version of an experiential-desire account.
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  4. Murat Aydede (2014). How to Unify Theories of Sensory Pleasure: An Adverbialist Proposal. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (1):119-133.
    A lot of qualitatively very different sensations can be pleasant or unpleasant. The Felt-Quality Views that conceive of sensory affect as having an introspectively available common phenomenology or qualitative character face the “heterogeneity problem” of specifying what that qualitative common phenomenology is. In contrast, according to the Attitudinal Views, what is common to all pleasant or unpleasant sensations is that they are all “wanted” or “unwanted” in a certain sort of way. The commonality is explained not on the basis of (...)
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  5. Murat Aydede & Matthew Fulkerson (forthcoming). Reasons and Theories of Sensory Affect. In David Bain, Michael Brady & Jennifer Corns (eds.), The Nature of Pain.
    Some sensory experiences are pleasant, some unpleasant. This is a truism. But understanding what makes these experiences pleasant and unpleasant is not an easy job. Various difficulties and puzzles arise as soon as we start theorizing. There are various philosophical theories on offer that seem to give different accounts for the positive or negative affective valences of sensory experiences. In this paper, we will look at the current state of art in the philosophy of mind, present the main contenders, critically (...)
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  6. Annette Baier (1986). The Ambiguous Limits of Desire. In J. Marks (ed.), The Ways of Desire. Precedent. 39--61.
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  7. David Bain & Michael Brady (2014). Pain, Pleasure, and Unpleasure. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (1):1-14.
    Compare your pain when immersing your hand in freezing water and your pleasure when you taste your favourite wine. The relationship seems obvious. Your pain experience is unpleasant, aversive, negative, and bad. Your experience of the wine is pleasant, attractive, positive, and good. Pain and pleasure are straightforwardly opposites. Or that, at any rate, can seem beyond doubt, and to leave little more to be said. But, in fact, it is not beyond doubt. And, true or false, it leaves a (...)
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  8. J. E. Barnhart (1972). Freud's Pleasure Principle and the Death Urge. Southwestern Journal of Philosophy 3 (1):113-120.
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  9. Rudolf Bernet (2007). Drive: A Psychoanalytical or Metaphysical Concept? On the Philosophical Foundation of the Pleasure Principle. Philosophy Today 51 (Supplement):107-118.
    For Freud, the pleasure principle is a fundamental principle of the psychische Geschehen, holding the same import as the reality principle. Properly speaking, the pleasure principle is the principle par excellence of the psychic processes, for without it, it would not be necessary to promote the recognition of reality to the status of a "principle." [...] it is given in a totally different way, as that principle immediately familiar to everyone, which is designated by the word will. It is easy (...)
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  10. Francis H. Bradley (1888). On Pleasure, Pain, Desire and Volition. Mind 13 (49):1-36.
  11. Talbot Brewer (2003). Savoring Time: Desire, Pleasure and Wholehearted Activity. [REVIEW] Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 6 (2):143-160.
    There is considerable appeal to the Aristotelian idea that taking pleasure in an activity is sometimes simply a matter of attending to it in such a way as to render it wholehearted. However, the proponents of this idea have not made adequately clear what kind of attention it is that can perform the surprising feat of transforming otherwise indifferent activities into pleasurable ones. I build upon Gilbert Ryle's suggestion that taking pleasure in an activity is tantamount to engaging in the (...)
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  12. John Cooper (1998). Pleasure and Desire in Epicurus. In Reason and Emotion: Essays on Ancient Moral Psychology and Ethical Theory. Princeton University Press. 485–514.
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  13. Lawrence Crocker (1976). Egoistic Hedonism. Analysis 36 (4):168 - 176.
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  14. Terence Dolan (1987). Pleasure, Preference and Value: Studies in Philosophical Aesthetics. National University of Ireland.
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  15. Andreas Dorschel (2004). Vom Genießen. Reflexionen zu Richard Strauss. In Gemurmel unterhalb des Rauschens. Theodor W. Adorno und Richard Strauss. Universal Edition. 23-37.
    The work of Richard Strauss has been disparaged as a music designed to be relished (“Genußmusik” was Adorno’s term), lacking any dimension of ‘transcendence’. The notion of ‘relish’ or ‘pleasure’ (“Genuß”), used for characterization rather than disparagement, can disclose crucial aspects of Strauss’s art, though it does not exhaust it. To oppose ‘relish’ or ‘pleasure’ (“Genuß”) to ‘transcendence’, however, either uses hidden theological premises or disregards that ‘relish’ or ‘pleasure’ (“Genuß”), bound to be pervious to its object, does transcend towards (...)
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  16. Dale Dorsey (2011). The Hedonist's Dilemma. Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (2):173-196.
    In this paper, I argue that hedonism about well-being faces a powerful dilemma. However, as I shall try to show here, this choice creates a dilemma for hedonism. On a subjective interpretation, hedonism is open to the familiar objection that pleasure is not the only thing desired or the only thing for which we possess a pro-attitude. On an objective interpretation, hedonism lacks an independent rationale. In this paper, I do not claim that hedonism fails once and for all. However, (...)
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  17. Fred Feldman (1988). Two Questions About Pleasure. In D. F. Austin (ed.), Philosophical Analysis. Kluwer Academic Publishers. 59--81.
    In this paper, I present my solutions to two closely related questions about pleasure. One of these questions is fairly well known. The second question seems to me to be at least as interesting as the first, but it apparently hasn't interested quite so many philosophers.
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  18. Bennett Foddy & Julian Savulescu (2007). Addiction is Not an Affliction: Addictive Desires Are Merely Pleasure-Oriented Desires. American Journal of Bioethics 7 (1):29 – 32.
    The author comments on the article “The neurobiology of addiction: Implications for voluntary control of behavior,‘ by S. E. Hyman. Hyman presents that addiction is a brain disease or a moral condition. The authors present that addiction is a strong preference, similar to appetitive preferences. They state that addiction is merely a form of pleasure-seeking. The authors conclude that the problem of addiction is the problem of the management of pleasure, not treatment of a disease. Accession Number: 24077914; Authors: Foddy, (...)
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  19. Bennett Foddy & Julian Savulescu (2006). Autonomy, Addiction and the Drive to Pleasure: Designing Drugs and Our Biology: A Reply to Neil Levy. Bioethics 20 (1):21–23.
  20. Sigmund Freud (2010). Beyond the Pleasure Principle : Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of His Childhood. In Christopher Want (ed.), Philosophers on Art From Kant to the Postmodernists: A Critical Reader. Columbia University Press.
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  21. James Giles (2008). The Nature of Sexual Desire. University Press of America.
    The Nature of Sexual Desire takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the psychology, philosophy, and anthropology of this most urgent of human desires. Examining both ancient writings and modern research, both Eastern and Western thought, the author argues that sexual desire is a continuous element in awareness and can only be understood in terms of our experience. The experience of sexual desire is explored and its relation to sexual interaction, erotic pleasure, the experience of gender, and romantic love, (...)
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  22. Mihaela P. Harper (2012). Bewilderingly, Forcefully. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry 7 (17):60-69.
    This article examines the difference between two concepts of critical importance to the philosophical frameworks of Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze–pleasure and desire–through the troubling and troubled figure of suicide. My contention is that, in the work of both thinkers, suicide makes legible an affirmative impulsion and a mode or tekhnē (in both senses of the term: practice and art) of encountering an unforeseeable virtuality (the Outside). Of aesthetic and ethical significance, this mode is experimental and dangerous, a frequency of (...)
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  23. Chris Heathwood (2013). Hedonism. In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley.
    An encyclopedia entry on hedonistic theories of value and welfare -- the view, roughly, that pleasure is the good.
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  24. Chris Heathwood (2011). Desire-Based Theories of Reasons, Pleasure, and Welfare. Oxford Studies in Metaethics 6:79-106.
    One of the most important disputes in the foundations of ethics concerns the source of practical reasons. On the desire-based view, only one’s desires provide one with reasons to act. On the value-based view, reasons are instead provided by the objective evaluative facts, and never by our desires. Similarly, there are desire-based and non-desired-based theories about two other issues: pleasure and welfare. It has been argued, and is natural to think, that holding a desire-based theory about either pleasure or welfare (...)
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  25. Chris Heathwood (2007). The Reduction of Sensory Pleasure to Desire. Philosophical Studies 133 (1):23-44.
    One of the leading approaches to the nature of sensory pleasure reduces it to desire: roughly, a sensation qualifies as a sensation of pleasure just in case its subject wants to be feeling it. This approach is, in my view, correct, but it has never been formulated quite right; and it needs to be defended against some compelling arguments. Thus the purpose of this paper is to discover the most defensible formulation of this rough idea, and to defend it against (...)
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  26. Chris Heathwood (2006). Desire Satisfactionism and Hedonism. Philosophical Studies 128 (3):539-563.
    Hedonism and the desire-satisfaction theory of welfare ("desire satisfactionism") are typically seen as archrivals in the contest over identifying what makes one's life go best. It is surprising, then, that the most plausible form of hedonism just is the most plausible form of desire satisfactionism. How can a single theory of welfare be a version of both hedonism and desire satisfactionism? The answer lies in what pleasure is: pleasure is, in my view, the subjective satisfaction of desire. This thesis about (...)
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  27. Thomas Hurka (2010). The Best Things in Life: A Guide to What Really Matters. Oxford University Press.
    Feeling good: four ways -- Finding that feeling -- The place of pleasure -- Knowing what's what -- Making things happen -- Being good -- Love and friendship -- Putting it together.
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  28. Justin Klocksiem (2010). Pleasure, Desire, and Oppositeness. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy.
    Why is pain the opposite of pleasure? Several theories of pleasure and pain have substantial difficulty explaining this basic feature. Theories according to which pleasure and pain are individual sensations or features of sensations have particular difficulty, since it is difficult to understand how pairs of sensations could be opposites. Some philosophers argue that the pain is the opposite of pleasure because pain and pleasure are fundamentally a matter of desire and aversion, and desire and aversion are clear opposites. I (...)
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  29. Joel J. Kupperman (1978). Do We Desire Only Pleasure? Philosophical Studies 34 (4):451 - 454.
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  30. Stéphane Lemaire (2002). From Emotions to Desires. European Review of Philosophy 5:109-136.
    In this paper, I defend the view that our knowledge of our desires is inferential and based on the consciousness we have of our emotions, and on our experiences of pain and pleasure.
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  31. John Lemos (2002). Sober and Wilson and Nozick and the Experience Machine. Philosophia 29 (1-4):401-409.
    Years ago Robert Nozick provided the experience machine argument, which states that since many people would forgo a life of artificially stimulated tremendous pleasure provided by an "experience machine," it must be that sometimes people are motivated by things other than the pursuit of their own pleasure. This is to say that he rejected psychological hedonism. In a recent book Elliot Sober and David Wilson defend the view that Nozick's argument does not provide adequate refutation of psychological hedonism. This article (...)
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  32. James Lenman (2011). Pleasure, Desire and Practical Reason. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (2):143-149.
    This paper examines the role of stability in the constitution of pleasure and desire, its relevance to the intimate ways the two are related and to their role in the constitution of practical reason.
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  33. Eden Lin (2014). Pluralism About Well‐Being. Philosophical Perspectives 28 (1):127-154.
    Theories of well-being purport to identify the basic goods and bads whose presence in a person's life determines how well she is faring. Monism is the view that there is only one basic good and one basic bad. Pluralism is the view that there is either more than one basic good or more than one basic bad. In this paper, I give an argument for pluralism that is general in the sense that it does not purport to identify any basic (...)
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  34. Karmen Mackendrick (1994). Polymorphous Pleasures: A Study in Grace. Dissertation, State University of New York at Stony Brook
    The dissertation is an exploration of pleasure, particularly in its more intense forms, as a moment of paradox . It is suggested that the paradoxicality of pleasure unfolds particularly in relation to time and to desire. In the case of time, moments of pleasure seem to move between, or to display the paradoxicality of, time as movement and eternity, often considered atemporal. Pleasure likewise seems to move between desire and satisfaction. Theories of pleasure and particular cases of pleasure are examined (...)
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  35. Olivier Massin (2014). Pleasure and Its Contraries. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (1):15-40.
    What is the contrary of pleasure? “Pain” is one common answer. This paper argues that pleasure instead has two natural contraries: unpleasure and hedonic indifference. This view is defended by drawing attention to two often-neglected concepts: the formal relation of polar opposition and the psychological state of hedonic indifference. The existence of mixed feelings, it is argued, does not threaten the contrariety of pleasure and unpleasure.
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  36. Olivier Massin (2011). On Pleasures. Dissertation, Geneva
    This thesis introduces and defends the Axiological Theory of Pleasure (ATP), according to which all pleasures are mental episodes which exemplify an hedonic value. According to the version of the ATP defended, hedonic goodness is not a primitive kind of value, but amounts to the final and personal value of mental episodes. Beside, it is argued that all mental episodes –and then all pleasures– are intentional. The definition of pleasures I arrived at is the following : -/- x is a (...)
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  37. John Stuart Mill (2009). Utilitarianism. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Ethics: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press.
    The Oxford Philosophical Texts series consists of authoritative teaching editions of canonical texts in the history of philosophy from the ancient world down to modern times. Each volume provides a clear, well laid out text together with a comprehensive introduction by a leading specialist, providing the student with detailed critical guidance on the intellectual context of the work and the structure and philosophical importance of the main arguments. Endnotes are supplied which provide further commentary on the arguments and explain unfamiliar (...)
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  38. Dan Moller (2002). Parfit on Pains, Pleasures, and the Time of Their Occurrence. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 32 (1):67 - 82.
    Consider our attitude toward painful and pleasant experiences depending on when they occur. A striking but rarely discussed feature of our attitude which Derek Parfit has emphasized is that we strongly wish painful experiences to lie in our past and pleasant experiences to lie in our future. Our asymmetrical attitudes toward future and past pains and pleasures can be forcefully illustrated by means of a thought-experiment described by Parfit (1984, 165) which I will paraphrase as follows: You are in the (...)
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  39. Carolyn R. Morillo (1992). Reward Event Systems: Reconceptualizing the Explanatory Roles of Motivation, Desire and Pleasure. Philosophical Psychology 5 (1):7-32.
    A developing neurobiological/psychological theory of positive motivation gives a key causal role to reward events in the brain which can be directly activated by electrical stimulation (ESB). In its strongest form, this Reward Event Theory (RET) claims that all positive motivation, primary and learned, is functionally dependent on these reward events. Some of the empirical evidence is reviewed which either supports or challenges RET. The paper examines the implications of RET for the concepts of 'motivation', 'desire' and 'reward' or 'pleasure'. (...)
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  40. Carolyn R. Morillo (1990). The Reward Event and Motivation. Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):169-186.
    In philosophy, the textbook case for the discussion of human motivation is the examination (and almost always, the refutation) of psychological egoism. The arguments have become part of the folklore of our tribe, from their inclusion in countless introductory texts. [...] One of my central aims has been to define the issues empirically, so we do not just settle them by definition. Although I am inclined at present to put my bets on the reward-event theory, with its internalism, monism, and (...)
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  41. Jack Nelson & David Welker (1975). Pleasure and the Intrinsically Desired. Analysis 35 (5):152 - 159.
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  42. Geir Overskeid (2002). Psychological Hedonism and the Nature of Motivation: Bertrand Russell's Anhedonic Desires. Philosophical Psychology 15 (1):77 – 93.
    Understanding the causes of behavior is one of philosophy's oldest challenges. In analyzing human desires, Bertrand Russell's position was clearly related to that of psychological hedonism. Still, though he seems to have held quite consistently that desires and emotions govern human behavior, he claimed that they do not necessarily do so by making us want to maximize pleasure. This claim is related to several being made in today's psychology and philosophy. I point out a string of facts and arguments indicating (...)
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  43. Giles Pearson (2012). Aristotle on Desire. Cambridge University Press.
    Machine generated contents note: Introduction; Part I. Desires and Objects of Desire: 1. The range of states Aristotle counts as desires (orexeis); 2. Some general considerations about objects of desire (orekta) for Aristotle; 3. Desire (orexis) and the good; Part II. Aristotle's Classifications of Desire: 4. Species of desire I: epithumia (pleasure-based desire); 5. Species of desire II: thumos (retaliatory desire); 6. Species of desire III: boulêsis (good-based desire); 7. Rational and non-rational desire; Part III. Further Reflections: 8. Some reflections (...)
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  44. Rainer Reisenzein (forthcoming). What is an Emotion in the Belief-Desire Theory of Emotion? In F. Paglieri, M. Tummolini, F. Falcone & M. Miceli (eds.), The goals of cognition: Essays in honor of Cristiano Castelfranchi. College Publications.
    Let us assume that the basic claim of the belief-desire theory of emotion is true: What, then, is an emotion? According to Castelfranchi and Miceli (2009), emotions are mental compounds that emerge from the gestalt integration of beliefs, desires, and hedonic feelings (pleasure or displeasure). By contrast, I propose that emotions are affective feelings caused by beliefs and desires, without the latter being a part of the emotion. My argumentation for the causal feeling theory proceeds in three steps. First, I (...)
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  45. Kristin Schaupp (2013). Books Before Chocolate? The Insufficiency of Mill's Evidence for Higher Pleasures. Utilitas 25 (2):266-276.
    Recent attempts to defend Mill's account of higher and lower pleasures have overlooked a critical flaw in Mill's argument. Mill considers the question of pleasure and preference as an empirical one, but the evidence he appeals to is inconclusive. Yet, this distinction plays an essential role in Mill's utilitarianism because Mill uses this evidence to support his argument that most people actually prefer pleasures resulting from higher faculties over pleasures resulting from lower faculties. If this proves to be insufficient, then (...)
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  46. Timothy Schroeder (2010). Desire and Pleasure in John Pollock's Thinking About Acting. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 148 (3):447–454.
    The first third of John Pollock’s Thinking about Acting is on the topics of pleasure, desire, and preference, and these topics are the ones on which this paper focuses. I review Pollock’s position and argue that it has at least one substantial strength (it elegantly demonstrates that desires must be more fundamental than preferences, and embraces this conclusion wholeheartedly) and at least one substantial weakness (it holds to a form of psychological hedonism without convincingly answering the philosophical or empirical objections (...)
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  47. Timothy Schroeder (2006). Desire. Philosophy Compass 1 (6):631–639.
    Desires move us to action, give us urges, incline us to joy at their satisfaction, and incline us to sorrow at their frustration. Naturalistic work on desire has focused on distinguishing which of these phenomena are part of the nature of desire, and which are merely normal consequences of desiring. Three main answers have been proposed. The first holds that the central necessary fact about desires is that they lead to action. The second makes pleasure the essence of desire. And (...)
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  48. Timothy Schroeder (2004). Three Faces of Desire. Oxford University Press.
    To desire something is a condition familiar to everyone. It is uncontroversial that desiring has something to do with motivation, something to do with pleasure, and something to do with reward. Call these "the three faces of desire." The standard philosophical theory at present holds that the motivational face of desire presents its unique essence--to desire a state of affairs is to be disposed to act so as to bring it about. A familiar but less standard account holds the hedonic (...)
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  49. Arthur T. Shillinglaw (1935). Pleasure and Conation. Philosophy 10 (39):332 - 342.
    There is no subject to which the writers of ethical textbooks have devoted more attention than that of the relations between pleasure and desire, and yet it is surprising how little agreement their efforts have produced in philosophical circles. This failure seems to me to be chiefly due to the fact that the question is only one among the many problems of conation, and can only be discussed in that context. In consequence, there remains a very wide gap between what (...)
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  50. Adam Shriver (2014). The Asymmetrical Contributions of Pleasure and Pain to Subjective Well-Being. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (1):135-153.
    Many ethicists writing about well-being have assumed that claims made about the relationship between pleasure and well-being carry similar implications for the relationship between pain and well-being. I argue that the current neuroscience of pleasure and pain does not support this assumption. In particular, I argue that the experiences of pleasure and pain are mediated by different cognitive systems, that they make different contributions to human behavior in general and to well-being in particular, and that they bear fundamentally different relationships (...)
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