David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophia 41 (2):527-543 (2013)
In this paper I seek to answer two interrelated questions about pleasures and pains: (i) The question of unity: Do all pleasures share a single quality that accounts for why these, and only these, are pleasures, and do all pains share a single quality that accounts for why these, and only these, are pains? (ii) The question of commensurability: Are all pleasures and pains rankable on a single, quantitative hedonic scale? I argue that our intuitions draw us in opposing directions: On the one hand, pleasures and pains seem unified and commensurable; on the other hand, they do not. I further argue that neither intuition can be abandoned, and examine three different paths to reconciliation. The first two are response theory and split experience theory. Both of these, I argue, are unsuccessful. A third path, however—which I label “dimensionalism” —succeeds. Dimensionalism is the theory that pleasure and pain have the ontological status as opposite sides of a hedonic dimension along which experiences vary. This view has earlier been suggested by C. D. Broad, Karl Duncker, Shelly Kagan, and John Searle, but it has not been worked out in detail. In this paper I work out the dimensionalist view in some detail, defend it, and explain how it solves the problem of the unity and commensurability of pleasures and pains
|Keywords||Pleasure Pain Heterogeneity objection Commensurability|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Christine M. Korsgaard (1996). The Sources of Normativity. Cambridge University Press.
Derek Parfit (1984). Reasons and Persons. Oxford University Press.
Richard B. Brandt (1998). A Theory of the Good and the Right. Prometheus Books.
L. W. Sumner (1996). Welfare, Happiness, and Ethics. Oxford University Press.
Roger Crisp (2006). Reasons and the Good. Clarendon Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Maria Ossowska (1961). Remarks on the Ancient Distinction Between Bodily and Mental Pleasures. Inquiry 4 (1-4):123-127.
Bennett W. Helm (2002). Felt Evaluations: A Theory of Pleasure and Pain. American Philosophical Quarterly 39 (1):13-30.
Olivier Massin (2013). The Intentionality of Pleasures. In Denis Fisette & Guillaume Fréchette (eds.), Themes from Brentano. Rodopi 307-337.
Halil Turan (2007). Does the Is-Ought Issue Suggest a Transcendental Realm? The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 1:7-12.
Stuart Rachels (2004). Six Theses About Pleasure. Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):247-267.
Olivier Massin (2011). On Pleasures. Dissertation, Geneva
R. Edwards (1975). Do Pleasures and Pains Differ Qualitatively? Journal of Value Inquiry 9 (4):270-81.
David Benatar (2011). No Life is Good. The Philosophers' Magazine 53 (53):62-66.
Matthew Evans (2008). Plato on the Possibility of Hedonic Mistakes. Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 35:89-124.
J. M. Howarth (1981). Pleasures and Pains: A Theory of Qualitative Hedonism. Philosophical Books 22 (4):250-251.
Theodule Ribot (1896). Pathological Pleasures and Pains. The Monist 6 (2):176-187.
Oliver A. Johnson (1981). Pleasures and Pains. International Studies in Philosophy 13 (2):83-84.
Henry R. West (1981). Book Review:Pleasures and Pains: A Theory of Qualitative Hedonism. Rem B. Edwards. [REVIEW] Ethics 91 (2):314-.
Olivier Massin (2011). Joies Amères Et Douces Peines [Bitter Joys and Sweet Sorrows]. In Christine Tappolet, Fabrice Teroni & Anita Konzelmann Ziv (eds.), Les ombres de l'âme, Penser les émotions négatives. Markus Haller
Added to index2012-08-16
Total downloads29 ( #106,672 of 1,725,558 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #134,647 of 1,725,558 )
How can I increase my downloads?