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Pleasure

Edited by Chris Heathwood (University of Colorado, Boulder)
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  1. Mary Ellen Brown (1994). Soap Opera and Women's Talk: The Pleasure of Resistance. Sage Publications.
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  2. Flora I. MacKinnon (1924). Review of Wells, Pleasure and Behavior. [REVIEW] Journal of Philosophy 21 (20):558-559.
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Pleasure and Pain
  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. Victor Argonov (2014). The Pleasure Principle as a Tool for Scientific Forecasting of Human Self-Evolution. Journal of Evolution and Technology 24 (2):63-78.
    The pleasure principle (PP) may be a verifiable fundamental law of the living matter in the universe, and this law might then be used for forecasting human self-evolution. I do not pretend to “prove” PP, but argue that it must be regarded as a scientific hypothesis. Accordingly, I formulate verifiable and falsifiable postulates of PP. Their confirmation would allow the construction of a new scientific discipline, hedodynamics, that would be able to forecast the future development of human civilization and even (...)
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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 (2000). An Analysis of Pleasure Vis-a-Vis Pain. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (3):537-570.
    I take up the issue of whether pleasure is a kind of sensation or not. This issue was much discussed by philosophers of the 1950’s and 1960’s, and apparently no resolution was reached. There were mainly two camps in the discussion: those who argued for a dispositional account, and those who favored an episodic feeling view of pleasure. Here, relying on some recent scientific research I offer an account of pleasure which neither dispositionalizes nor sensationalizes pleasure. As is usual in (...)
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  6. 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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  7. Murat Aydede & Matthew Fulkerson (2014). Affect: Representationalists' Headache. Philosophical Studies 170 (2):175-198.
    Representationalism is the view that the phenomenal character of experiences is identical to their representational content of a certain sort. This view requires a strong transparency condition on phenomenally conscious experiences. We argue that affective qualities such as experienced pleasantness or unpleasantness are counter-examples to the transparency thesis and thus to the sort of representationalism that implies it.
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  8. Alexander Bain (1892). Pleasure and Pain. Mind 1 (2):161-187.
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  9. David Bain (2013). What Makes Pains Unpleasant? Philosophical Studies 166 (1):69-89.
    The unpleasantness of pain motivates action. Hence many philosophers have doubted that it can be accounted for purely in terms of pain’s possession of indicative representational content. Instead, they have explained it in terms of subjects’ inclinations to stop their pains, or in terms of pain’s imperative content. I claim that such “noncognitivist” accounts fail to accommodate unpleasant pain’s reason-giving force. What is needed, I argue, is a view on which pains are unpleasant, motivate, and provide reasons in virtue of (...)
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  10. 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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  11. David Benatar (2011). No Life is Good. The Philosophers' Magazine 53 (53):62-66.
    The worst pains seem to be worse than the best pleasures are good. Anybody who doubts this should consider what choice they would make if they wereoffered the option of securing an hour of the most sublime pleasures possible in exchange for suffering an hour of the worst pain possible.
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  12. Yitzchak M. Binik (1997). Pain, Pleasure, and the Mind. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (3):440-441.
    The target articles by blumberg et al. and berkley reflect some of the recent major theoretical and clinical advances in two areas of pain research. These two articles also represent two very different approaches to which type of variables are considered relevant to the study of pain. These different approaches are contrasted in the context of the different emphases in pain and pleasure research.
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  13. Alex Blum (1996). The Agony of Pain. Philosophical Inquiry 18 (3-4):117-120.
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  14. Francis H. Bradley (1888). On Pleasure, Pain, Desire and Volition. Mind 13 (49):1-36.
  15. Ben Bramble (2013). The Distinctive Feeling Theory of Pleasure. Philosophical Studies 162 (2):201-217.
    In this article, I attempt to resuscitate the perennially unfashionable distinctive feeling theory of pleasure (and pain), according to which for an experience to be pleasant (or unpleasant) is just for it to involve or contain a distinctive kind of feeling. I do this in two ways. First, by offering powerful new arguments against its two chief rivals: attitude theories, on the one hand, and the phenomenological theories of Roger Crisp, Shelly Kagan, and Aaron Smuts, on the other. Second, by (...)
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  16. Caroline Walker Bynum (2006). Suspended Animation: Pain, Pleasure, and Punishment in Medieval Culture. Common Knowledge 12 (3):516-517.
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  17. E. J. C. (1969). Pleasure and Pain. Review of Metaphysics 23 (1):126-127.
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  18. Paul Carus (1895). The Nature of Pleasure and Pain: In Comment on Prof. Th. Ribot's Theory. The Monist 6:432.
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  19. Roderick M. Chisholm (1987). Brentano's Theory of Pleasure and Pain. Topoi 6 (1):59-64.
  20. Oliver Conolly (2005). Pleasure and Pain in Literature. Philosophy and Literature 29 (2):305-320.
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  21. J. L. Cowan (1969). Pleasure and Pain. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 29 (4):610-611.
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  22. Joseph L. Cowan (1968). Pleasure and Pain: A Study in Philosophical Psychology. Macmillan.
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  23. Cecily De Monchaux (1959). Review of Szasz, Pain and Pleasure. [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 10 (39):252-254.
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  24. Julien A. Deonna & Fabrice Teroni (2013). What Role for Emotions in Well-Being? Philosophical Topics 41 (1):123-142.
    It is striking that for each major theory of well-being, there exists a companion theory of the emotions. Thus, to classical hedonic views of well-being, there corresponds no less classical pure feeling views of the emotions; to desire views that conceive of well-being in terms of desire satisfaction, there corresponds a variety of theories approaching the emotions in terms of the satisfaction/frustration of desires; and finally, to so called objective list theories of well-being, there corresponds a variety of theories that (...)
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  25. Andreas Dorschel (2011). Music and Pain. In Jane Fulcher (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the New Cultural History of Music. Oxford University Press 68-79.
    Ancient mythology related music to pain in a twofold way. Pain is the punishment inflicted for producing inferior music: the fate of Marsyas; music is sublimation of pain: the achievement of Orpheus and of Philomela. Both aspects have played defining roles in Western musical culture. Pain’s natural expression is the scream. To be present in music at all, pain needs to be transformed. So even where music expresses pain, at the same time it appeases that very pain. Unlike the scream, (...)
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  26. Andreas Dorschel (2008). Musik und Schmerz. Musiktheorie 23 (3):257-263.
    Ancient mythology related music to pain in a twofold way. Pain is the punishment inflicted for producing inferior music: the fate of Marsyas; music is sublimation of pain: the achievement of Orpheus and of Philomela. Both aspects have played defining roles in Western musical culture. Pain’s natural expression is the scream. To be present in music at all, pain needs to be transformed. So even where music expresses pain, at the same time it appeases that very pain. Unlike the scream, (...)
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  27. Tom Dougherty (2011). On Whether To Prefer Pain to Pass. Ethics 121 (3):521-537.
    Most of us are “time-biased” in preferring pains to be past rather than future and pleasures to be future rather than past. However, it turns out that if you are risk averse and time-biased, then you can be turned into a “pain pump”—in order to insure yourself against misfortune, you will take a series of pills which leaves you with more pain and better off in no respect. Since this vulnerability seems rationally impermissible, while time-bias and risk aversion seem rationally (...)
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  28. Otniel E. Dr0r (2012). Visceral Pleasures and Pains. In Esther Cohen (ed.), Knowledge and Pain. Rodopi 84--147.
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  29. J. Drever (1920). WOHLGEMUTH, A. -Pleasure-Unpleasure: An Experimental Investigation of the Feeling-Elements. [REVIEW] Mind 29:359.
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  30. Steven M. Duncan, Pain and Evil.
    In this paper I defend the thesis that, considered simply as certain sorts of bodily sensations, pleasure is not the good nor is pain intrinsically evil. In fact, the opposite is largely the case: pursuit of pleasure is generally productive of ontic evil, and pain, when heeded, directs us toward the ontic good.
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  31. J. C. E. (1969). Cowan, J. L., Pleasure and Pain. [REVIEW] Review of Metaphysics 23 (1):126-127.
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  32. R. Edwards (1975). Do Pleasures and Pains Differ Qualitatively? Journal of Value Inquiry 9 (4):270-81.
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  33. Warner Fite (1904). The Place of Pleasure and Pain in the Functional Psychology. Philosophical Review 13:241.
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  34. Benjamin Franklin (1930). A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain. The Facsimile Text Society.
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  35. Keith Bj Franklin (1993). The Neural Basis of Pleasure and Pain. In R. Michod, L. Nadel & M. Hechter (eds.), The Origin of Values. Aldine de Gruyer
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  36. P. Friedmann (1878). H. R. Marshall, Pain, Pleasure and Aesthetics. Mind 3:404.
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  37. M. S. Gilliland (1892). Pleasure and Pain in Education. International Journal of Ethics 2 (3):289-312.
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  38. Irwin Goldstein (2002). Are Emotions Feelings? A Further Look at Hedonic Theories of Emotions. Consciousness and Emotion 3 (1):21-33.
    Many philosophers sharply distinguish emotions from feelings. Emotions are not feelings, and having an emotion does not necessitate having some feeling, they think. In this paper I reply to a set of arguments people use sharply to distinguish emotions from feelings. In response to these people, I endorse and defend a hedonic theory of emotion that avoids various anti-feeling objections. Proponents of this hedonic theory analyze an emotion by reference to forms of cognition (e.g., thought, belief, judgment) and a pleasant (...)
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  39. Irwin Goldstein (2000). Intersubjective Properties by Which We Specify Pain, Pleasure, and Other Kinds of Mental States. Philosophy 75 (291):89-104.
    By what types of properties do we specify twinges, toothaches, and other kinds of mental states? Wittgenstein considers two methods. Procedure one, direct, private acquaintance: A person connects a word to the sensation it specifies through noticing what that sensation is like in his own experience. Procedure two, outward signs: A person pins his use of a word to outward, pre-verbal signs of the sensation. I identify and explain a third procedure and show we in fact specify many kinds of (...)
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  40. Irwin Goldstein (1994). Identifying Mental States: A Celebrated Hypothesis Refuted. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72 (1):46-62.
    Functionalists think an event's causes and effects, its 'causal role', determines whether it is a mental state and, if so, which kind. Functionalists see this causal role principle as supporting their orthodox materialism, their commitment to the neuroscientist's ontology. I examine and refute the functionalist's causal principle and the orthodox materialism that attends that principle.
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  41. Irwin Goldstein (1989). Pleasure and Pain: Unconditional Intrinsic Values. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 50 (December):255-276.
    That all pleasure is good and all pain bad in itself is an eternally true ethical principle. The common claim that some pleasure is not good, or some pain not bad, is mistaken. Strict particularism (ethical decisions must be made case by case; there are no sound universal normative principles) and relativism (all good and bad are relative to society) are among the ethical theories we may refute through an appeal to pleasure and pain. Daniel Dennett, Philippa Foot, R M (...)
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  42. Irwin Goldstein (1983). Pain and Masochism. Journal of Value Inquiry 17 (3):219-223.
    That pain and suffering are unwanted is no truism. Like the sadist, the masochist wants pain. Like sadism, masochism entails an irrational, abnormal attitude toward pain. I explain this abnormality.
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  43. Irwin Goldstein (1981). Cognitive Pleasure and Distress. Philosophical Studies 39 (January):15-23.
    Explaining the "intentional object" some people assign pleasure, I argue that a person is pleased about something when his thoughts about that thing cause him to feel pleasure. Bernard Williams, Gilbert Ryle, and Irving Thalberg, who reject this analysis, are discussed. Being pleased (or distressed) about something is a compound of pleasure (pain) and some thought or belief. Pleasure in itself does not have an "intentional object".
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  44. Irwin Goldstein (1980). Why People Prefer Pleasure to Pain. Philosophy 55 (July):349-362.
    Against Hume and Epicurus I argue that our selection of pleasure, pain and other objects as our ultimate ends is guided by reason. There are two parts to the explanation of our attraction to pleasure, our aversion to pain, and our consequent preference of pleasure to pain: 1. Pleasure presents us with reason to seek it, pain presents us reason to avoid it, and 2. Being intelligent, human beings (and to a degree, many animals) are disposed to be guided by (...)
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  45. Frank Govett (1889). The Pains of Life, a Reply to Sir John Lubbock's 'Pleasures of Life'. Swan Sonnenschein & Co..
    from *Bookseller* (January 9, 1889): -/- "To those who believe in the desirability of arousing a 'divine' discontent among certain classes of society, Mr. Govett’s work may certainly be com mended. For, in opposition to the view held by Sir john Lubbock, in his well-known volume on the 'Pleasures of Life,' the present writer maintains the thesis that the pleasure of a man‘s life is dependent more upon his surroundings than upon himself, and he would prefer to throw into the (...)
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  46. Richard Gray (2014). Pain, Perception and the Sensory Modalities: Revisiting the Intensive Theory. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (1):87-101.
    Pain is commonly explained in terms of the perceptual activity of a distinct sensory modality, the function of which is to enable us to perceive actual or potential damage to the body. However, the characterization of pain experience in terms of a distinct sensory modality with such content is problematic. I argue that pain is better explained as occupying a different role in relation to perception: to indicate when the stimuli that are sensed in perceiving anything by means of a (...)
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  47. James Griffin (1979). Is Unhappiness Morally More Important Than Happiness? Philosophical Quarterly 29 (114):47-55.
    The view that the obligation to promote happiness is, as Popper puts it, "in any case much less urgent" than the obligation to eliminate unhappiness we might call the "Negative Doctrine". I know of no plausible form of the Negative Doctrine.
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  48. Pepita Haezrahi (1960). Pain and Pleasure: Some Reflections on Susan Stebbing's View That Pain and Pleasure Are Moral Values. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 11 (5):71 - 78.
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