The Value of Pleasure

Edited by Ben Bramble (Australian National University, Princeton University)
About this topic
Summary There are two central questions here: (1) What is the relationship of pleasure to well-being? (Is all pleasure good for its subject? Is only pleasure (and pain avoidance) good for a person? Why are pleasurable experiences good for their subjects? Is it because of their phenomenology alone, or instead because of their subject’s attitude toward them?)  (2) What is the relationship of pleasure to the good? (Is all pleasure good? Is only pleasure (and pain avoidance) good? Is pleasure good only when, and because, it is good for somebody (i.e., increases somebody’s well-being)?)  Of particular interest are base pleasures (those, say, of gluttony, sex, and so on), malicious pleasures (i.e., those taken in the pain or misfortune of others), and repeated pleasures (i.e., ones that are qualitatively identical to past ones).
Key works Two key works are Crisp 2006 and Feldman 2004, both of which argue (though in different ways) that the value of a pleasure for a person may be affected by what the pleasure is taken in. Goldstein 2003 and Goldstein 1989 argue that all pleasure is good. For important recent work on the role of desire in the value of pleasure (and the reasons provided by pleasure), see Heathwood 2011, Sobel 2005, Sobel 2011, and Parfit 2011.
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  1. The Epistemic Argument for Hedonism.Neil Sinhababu - 2024 - In Sanjit Chakraborty (ed.), Human Minds and Cultures. Switzerland: Springer Nature Switzerland. pp. 137-158.
    I defend ethical hedonism, the view that pleasure is the sole good thing, by arguing that it offers the only answer to an argument for moral skepticism. The skeptical problem arises from widespread fundamental moral disagreement, which entails the presence of enough moral error to undermine the reliability of most processes generating moral belief. We know that pleasure is good through the reliable process of phenomenal introspection, which reveals what our experiences are like. If knowing of pleasure’s goodness through phenomenal (...)
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  2. Pain and Evil.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    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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  3. Pleasurably Regarding the Pain of Fictional Others.Aaron Smuts - manuscript
    Is it ever bad to take pleasure in the suffering of fictional characters? I think so. I attempt to show when and why. I begin with two powerful objections to my view: (1) engaging with fiction is akin to morally unproblematic autonomous fantasy, and (2) since no one is harmed, it is morally unproblematic. I reply to the objections and defend a Moorean view on the issue: It is intrinsically bad to enjoy evil, actual (past, present, or future) and merely (...)
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  4. Strangers to ourselves: a Nietzschean challenge to the badness of suffering.Nicolas Delon - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Is suffering really bad? The late Derek Parfit argued that we all have reasons to want to avoid future agony and that suffering is in itself bad both for the one who suffers and impersonally. Nietzsche denied that suffering was intrinsically bad and that its value could even be impersonal. This paper has two aims. It argues against what I call ‘Realism about the Value of Suffering’ by drawing from a broadly Nietzschean debunking of our evaluative attitudes, showing that a (...)
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  5. Unconscious Pleasure as Dispositional Pleasure.James Fanciullo - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    A good deal of recent debate over the nature of pleasure and pain has surrounded the alleged phenomenon of unconscious sensory pleasure and pain, or pleasures and pains whose subjects are entirely unaware of them while experiencing them. According to Ben Bramble, these putative pleasures and pains present a problem for attitudinal theories of pleasure and pain, since these theories claim that what makes something a sensory pleasure or pain is that one has a special sort of pro- or con-attitude (...)
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  6. Finding Pleasure and Satisfaction in Perfectionism.Michael Hayes - forthcoming - Utilitas:1-17.
    Many philosophers find welfare perfectionism implausible because it is arguably underinclusive, as it fails to count as good certain acts, events, and things that intuitively improve one's quality of life. Likewise, philosophers intuit that the experience of pleasure directly contributes to well-being. The problem for welfare perfectionism is straightforward: neither desire-satisfaction nor the experience of pleasure seem to perfect one's nature. This leaves two options for the welfare perfectionist. He can “bite the bullet” and argue that these intuitions are mistaken (...)
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  7. Telic Perfectionism and the Badness of Pain.Antti Kauppinen - forthcoming - In Mauro Rossi & Christine Tappolet (eds.), Perspectives on Ill-Being. Oxford University Press.
    Why is unpleasant pain bad for us? Evidently because of how it feels. This bit of commonsense is a challenge for well-being perfectionism, since pain doesn’t look anything like failure to fulfill human nature. Here, I sketch a new version of perfectionism that avoids this problem. To explain what is basically good for us, it appeals to the capacities whose functioning defines who we are, or our subjective nature, instead of human nature. I argue that these capacities have a telic (...)
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  8. The Axiology of Pain and Pleasure.Alycia LaGuardia-LoBianco & Paul Bloomfield - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-24.
    There is little more common in ethics than to think pain is intrinsically bad and pleasure is intrinsically good. A Humean-style error theory of the axiology of pain and pleasure is developed against these commonsense claims. We defend the thesis that the value of pain and pleasure is always contingent and only instrumental. We survey prominent theories of both intrinsic value and pain/pleasure, all of which assume that pain and pleasure are intrinsically valuable. We base our error theory on counterexamples (...)
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  9. Metaethical Experientialism.Andrew Y. Lee - forthcoming - In Geoffrey Lee & Adam Pautz (eds.), The Importance of Being Conscious. Oxford University Press.
    I develop and defend "metaethical experientialism," the thesis that phenomenal facts explain certain kinds of value facts. I argue, for example, that anyone who knows what it’s like to feel extreme pain is in a position to know that that kind of experience is bad. I argue that metaethical experientialism yields genuine counterexamples to the principle that no ethical conclusion can be derived from purely descriptive premises. I also discuss the prospects for a pluralistic metaethics, whereby different metaethical theories hold (...)
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  10. Nietzsche on the value of power and pleasure.Robert Shaver - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Nietzsche seems to hold that ‘higher types’, or examples of great power, are the only things good as an end. I consider and reject three reconstructions of Nietzsche’s argument for this: that it follows from understanding evolution, or from the will to power understood as a descriptive thesis, or from our admiration for such types. I suggest that Nietzsche’s strategy is to take for granted our shared admiration for higher types and then attack our admiration for other goods such as (...)
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  11. Pleasure is goodness; morality is universal.Neil Sinhababu - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-17.
    This paper presents the Universality Argument that pleasure is goodness. The first premise defines goodness as what should please all. The second premise reduces 'should' to perceptual accuracy. The third premise invokes a universal standard of accuracy: qualitative identity. Since the pleasure of all is accurate solely about pleasure, pleasure is goodness, or universal moral value. The argument proceeds from a moral sense theory that analyzes moral concepts as concerned with what all should hope for, feel guilty about, and admire. (...)
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  12. Hierarchy and Heterarchy in Ross's Theories of the Right and the Good.Anthony Skelton - forthcoming - In Robert Audi & David Phillips (eds.), The Moral Philosophy of W. D. Ross. Oxford University Press.
    In both The Right and the Good and The Foundations of Ethics, W. D. Ross maintains that any amount of the non-instrumental value of virtue outweighs any amount of the non-instrumental value of pleasure or avoidance of pain. The chapter raises two challenges to the status that Ross accords the value of virtue relative to the value of pleasure (pain). First, it argues that Ross fails to provide a good argument for thinking that virtue is always better than pleasure and (...)
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  13. A human right to pleasure? Sexuality, autonomy and egalitarian strategies.Jon Wittrock - 2024 - Journal of Medical Ethics 50 (4):263-267.
    A growing focus on pleasure in human rights discourse has been used to address patterns of sexual exclusion, often when addressing the problems of people with disabilities (PWD). As convincingly argued by Liberman, however, not all PWD suffer from sexual exclusion, and not all who suffer from sexual exclusion are PWD. Danaher and Liberman have thus argued in various ways for a broader range of measures, addressing sexual exclusion. This article builds on previous research and offers a conceptual framework for (...)
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  14. The Place of Pleasure in Neo-Aristotelian Ethics.Travis Butler - 2023 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 97 (1):101-119.
    Richard Kraut argues that Neo-Aristotelian ethics should include a com­mitment to “diluted hedonism,” according to which the exercise of a developed life-capacity is good for S only if and partly because S enjoys it. I argue that the Neo-Aristotelian should reject diluted hedonism for two reasons: first, it compro­mises the generality and elegance of the initial developmentalist account; second, it leads to mistaken evaluations of some of the most important and ennobling capacities and activities in human life. Finally, I argue (...)
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  15. The Dilemma for Attitude Theories of Pleasure.Daniel Pallies & Alexander Dietz - 2023 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind Vol. 3. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    In virtue of what do we enjoy episodes of pleasure? According to the phenomenological theory of pleasure, we enjoy pleasures in virtue of having certain kinds of phenomenal experiences. According to the attitude theory of pleasure, we enjoy pleasures in virtue of having a certain kind of pro-attitude. In this chapter, we show that the attitude theory faces a dilemma. The attitude that is relevant to pleasure—the desire, liking, or favoring—is either necessarily co-instantiated with certain phenomenology, or not. If the (...)
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  16. Schopenhauer's Pessimism.Byron Simmons - 2023 - In David Bather Woods & Timothy Stoll (eds.), The Schopenhauerian mind. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 282-296.
    Optimism and pessimism are two diametrically opposed views about the value of existence. Optimists maintain that existence is better than non-existence, while pessimists hold that it is worse. Arthur Schopenhauer put forward a variety of arguments against optimism and for pessimism. I will offer a synoptic reading of these arguments, which aims to show that while Schopenhauer’s case against optimism primarily focuses on the value or disvalue of life’s contents, his case for pessimism focuses on the ways in which life (...)
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  17. How Much Do We Discount Past Pleasures?Preston Greene, Andrew J. Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2022 - American Philosophical Quarterly 59 (4):367-376.
    Future-biased individuals systematically prefer pleasures to be in the future and pains to be in the past. Empirical research shows that negative future-bias is robust: people prefer more past pain to less future pain. Is positive future-bias robust or fragile? Do people only prefer pleasures to be located in the future, compared to the past, when those pleasures are of equal value, or do they continue to prefer that pleasures be located in the future even when past pleasures outweigh future (...)
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  18. Meaning in the Pursuit of Pleasure.David Matheson - 2022 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 8 (3):552-566.
    Here I speak in favor of the view that life's meaning can be found in the pursuit of pleasure. I first present an argument for this view that is grounded in a traditional concept of meaning. To help ease remaining concerns about accepting it, I then draw attention to four things the view does not imply: (1) that we have a reason to take hedonistic theories of meaning seriously; (2) that meaning can be found in the deeply immoral, the deeply (...)
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  19. The standard interpretation of Schopenhauer's compensation argument for pessimism: A nonstandard variant.David Bather Woods - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 30 (3):961-976.
    According to Schopenhauer’s compensation argument for pessimism, the non-existence of the world is preferable to its existence because no goods can ever compensate for the mere existence of evil. Standard interpretations take this argument to be based on Schopenhauer’s thesis that all goods are merely the negation of evils, from which they assume it follows that the apparent goods in life are in fact empty and without value. This article develops a non-standard variant of the standard interpretation, which accepts the (...)
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  20. J. S. Mill on Higher Pleasures and Modes of Existence.Tim Beaumont - 2021 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 21 (2(62)):251-68.
    The passage of Mill’s Utilitarianism that sets out the condition in which one pleasure has a superior quality than another stokes interpretive controversy. According to the Lexical Interpretation, Mill takes one pleasure, P1, to be of a superior quality than another, P2, if, and only if, the smallest quantity of P1 is more valuable than any finite quantity of P2. This paper argues that, while the Lexical Interpretation may be supported with supplementary evidence, the passage itself does not rule out (...)
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  21. Why future-bias isn't rationally evaluable.Callie K. Phillips - 2021 - Res Philosophica 98 (4):573-596.
    Future-bias is preferring some lesser future good to a greater past good because it is in the future, or preferring some greater past pain to some lesser future pain because it is in the past. Most of us think that this bias is rational. I argue that no agents have future-biased preferences that are rationally evaluable—that is, evaluable as rational or irrational. Given certain plausible assumptions about rational evaluability, either we must find a new conception of future-bias that avoids the (...)
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  22. A thousand pleasures are not worth a single pain: The compensation argument for Schopenhauer's pessimism.Byron Simmons - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (1):120-136.
    Pessimism is, roughly, the view that life is not worth living. In chapter 46 of the second volume of The World as Will and Representation, Arthur Schopenhauer provides an oft-neglected argument for this view. The argument is that a life is worth living only if it does not contain any uncompensated evils; but since all our lives happen to contain such evils, none of them are worth living. The now standard interpretation of this argument (endorsed by Kuno Fischer and Christopher (...)
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  23. “The Permanent Truth of Hedonist Moralities”: Plato and Levinas on Pleasures.Tanja Staehler & Alexander Kozin - 2021 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 52 (2):137-154.
    Levinas maintains that there is a lasting significance to hedonism if we consider the important role of pleasures for our embodied existence. In this essay, we go back to Plato to explore the nature of pleasure, different kinds of pleasures, and their contribution to the good life. The good life is a considerate mixture of pleasures which requires knowing, understanding and remembering. Pleasures take us to the most basic level of existence which the Presocratics can help us understand through their (...)
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  24. Εudaimonia, Pleasure and the Defeat of Particularity.Višnja Knežević - 2020 - In The possibility of Eudaimonia (happiness and human flourishing) in the world today. Athens: International center of Greek philosophy and culture and K.B. pp. 148-161.
    In the times where the predominant description of the world has become that of the so-called “post-truth” reality, all the questions on the possibilities of leading a fulfilled life, the life of εὐδαιμονία, seem to have become irrelevant, if not unattainable. This is due to the reason that εὐδαιμονία, as such, intrinsically involves a connection with the truth and the universal. On the other hand, the concept of a fulfilled life should not exclude subjective happiness. The latter has always been (...)
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  25. Attitudinal and Phenomenological Theories of Pleasure.Eden Lin - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):510-524.
    On phenomenological theories of pleasure, what makes an experience a pleasure is the way it feels. On attitudinal theories, what makes an experience a pleasure is its relationship to the favorable attitudes of the subject who is having it. I advance the debate between these theories in two ways. First, I argue that the main objection to phenomenological theories, the heterogeneity problem, is not compelling. While others have argued for this before, I identify an especially serious version of this problem (...)
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  26. Suffering Pains.Olivier Massin - 2020 - In Jennifer Corns & Michael S. Brady David Bain (ed.), Philosophy of Suffering: Metaphysics, Value and Normativity. London: Routledge. pp. 76-100.
    The paper aims at clarifying the distinctions and relations between pain and suffering. Three negative theses are defended: 1. Pain and suffering are not identical. 2. Pain is not a species of suffering, nor is suffering a species of pain, nor are pain and suffering of a common (proximate) genus. 3. Suffering cannot be defined as the perception of a pain’s badness, nor can pain be defined as a suffered bodily sensation. Three positive theses are endorsed: 4. Pain and suffering (...)
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  27. A Defense of Basic Prudential Hedonism.Joe Nelson - 2020 - Dissertation, Duke University
    Prudential hedonism is a school of thought in the philosophy of welfare that says that only pleasure is good for us in itself and only pain is bad for us in itself. This dissertation concerns an especially austere form of prudential hedonism: basic prudential hedonism (BPH). BPH claims that all pleasure is good for us in itself, and all pain is bad for us in itself, without exception; that all pleasures feel fundamentally alike, as do all pains; and that the (...)
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  28. Exceptions in Nonderivative Value.Garrett Cullity - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (1):26-49.
    According to most substantive axiological theories – theories telling us which things are good and bad – pleasure is nonderivatively good. This seems to imply that it is always good, even when directed towards a bad object, such as another person’s suffering. This implication is accepted by the Mainstream View about misdirected pleasures: it holds that when someone takes pleasure in another person’s suffering, his being pleased is good, although his being pleased by suffering is bad. This view gains some (...)
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  29. Is pleasure all that is good about experience?Willem Deijl - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (7):1-19.
    Experientialist accounts of wellbeing are those accounts of wellbeing that subscribe to the experience requirement. Typically, these accounts are hedonistic. In this article I present the claim that hedonism is not the most plausible experientialist account of wellbeing. The value of experience should not be understood as being limited to pleasure, and as such, the most plausible experientialist account of wellbeing is pluralistic, not hedonistic. In support of this claim, I argue first that pleasure should not be understood as a (...)
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  30. An empirical investigation of guilty pleasures.Kris Goffin & Florian Cova - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (7):1129-1155.
    In everyday language, the expression ‘guilty pleasure’ refers to instances where one feels bad about enjoying a particular artwork. Thus, one’s experience of guilty pleasure seems to involve the feeling that one should not enjoy this particular artwork and, by implication, the belief that there are norms according to which some aesthetic responses are more appropriate than others. One natural assumption would be that these norms are first and foremost aesthetic norms. However, this suggestion runs directly against recent findings in (...)
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  31. The Value of Heterogeneous Pleasures.Andrew Alwood - 2018 - Journal of Happiness Studies 19 (8):2303-2314.
    Pleasure is one of the most obvious candidates for directly improving wellbeing. Hedonists claim it is the only feature that can intrinsically make life better for the one living it, and that all of wellbeing derives from the relative pleasantness and unpleasantness of conscious experience. But Hedonism is incompatible with the ‘heterogeneity’ of pleasure: it cannot allow that distinct pleasures can feel completely differently, if experiences count as pleasant due to how they feel. I argue that a pluralistic variant of (...)
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  32. A Contemporary Account of Sensory Pleasure.Murat Aydede - 2018 - In Lisa Shapiro (ed.), Pleasure: A History. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 239-266.
    [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 a satisfied experiential-desire (...)
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  33. Inner Virtue.Nicolas Bommarito - 2018 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    What does it mean to be a morally good person? It can be tempting to think that it is simply a matter of performing certain actions and avoiding others. And yet there is much more to moral character than our outward actions. We expect a good person to not only behave in certain ways but also to experience the world in certain ways within.
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  34. Maximising life’s small pleasures and its effect on well-being.Joseph Croguennec & Desirée Kozlowski - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  35. Taking Pleasure in the Good and Well-Being: the Harmless Pleasures Objection.James J. Delaney - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (2):281-294.
    Well-being is that which is non-instrumentally good for a person. It is identical to how well someone's life goes. There are three main theories of well-being: hedonism, desire-fulfillment, and objective list theories. Each of these theories is subject to criticism, which has led some philosophers to posit a hybrid theory in which well-being is defined as taking pleasure in objective goods. One problem that comes with such an account is the possibility of what I will call harmless pleasures; that is, (...)
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  36. Life's Values: Pleasure, Happiness, Well-Being, and Meaning.Alan H. Goldman - 2018 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
    Life's Values offers new analyses of the nature of pleasure, happiness, well-being, and meaning in life. Recognizing how individuals have different priorities, Goldman explains what is of ultimate value in our lives and argues that making our desires rational - relevantly informed of what it's like to satisfy them - maximizes well-being.
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  37. Is Pleasure Merely An Instrumental Good? Reply to Pianalto.Tully Ian - 2018 - Journal of Value Inquiry 52 (1):135-138.
    The view that pleasure's value might be merely instrumental has not received much support from philosophers. Indeed, few things seem more clearly to be of intrinsic value than pleasure. However, Matthew Pianalto has provided a sophisticated defense of the purely instrumental view. In this paper I respond to Pianalto's argument. I defend it from some recent criticism, while nevertheless ultimately concluding that it fails.
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  38. Art, Pleasure, Value: Reframing the Questions.Mohan Matthen - 2018 - Philosophic Exchange 47 (1).
    In this essay, I’ll argue, first, that an art object's aesthetic value (or merit) depends not just on its intrinsic properties, but on the response it evokes from a consumer who shares the producer's cultural background. My question is: what is the role of culture in relation to this response? I offer a new account of aesthetic pleasure that answers this question. On this account, aesthetic pleasure is not just a “feeling” or “sensation” that results from engaging with a work (...)
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  39. Le Plaisir.Massin Olivier - 2018 - In Julien A. Deonna & Emma Tieffenbach (eds.), Petit Traité des Valeurs. [Genève, Switzerland]: Edition d’Ithaque. pp. 214-222.
    I argue that pleasure is not only necessarily good, but also essentially so. Part of the nature of pleasure is to be (personally, finally) good.
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  40. No, It Isn’t: A Response to Law on Evil Pleasure.Richard Playford - 2018 - Ethic@ - An International Journal for Moral Philosophy 17 (1):1-12.
    In this paper, I engage with Law’s paper ‘Evil Pleasure Is Good For You!’ I argue that, although his criticism of hedonistic utilitarianism may hold some weight, his analysis of the goodness of pleasure is overly simplistic. I highlight some troubling results which would follow from his analysis and then outline a new account which then remedies these problems. Ultimately, I distinguish between Law’s ‘evil pleasures’ and, what I call, ‘virtuous pleasures’ and show how we can accept the goodness of (...)
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  41. Evolutionary Debunking Arguments and Our Shared Hatred of Pain.Ben Bramble - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 12 (1):94-101.
    This article responds to an argument from Katarzyna de Ladari-Radek and Peter Singer in their article, "The Objectivity of Ethics and the Unity of Practical Reason.".
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  42. Renunciation, Pleasure, and the Good Life in the Saṃnyāsa Upaniṣads.Christopher G. Framarin - 2017 - Philosophy East and West 67 (1):140-159.
    The Saṃnyāsa Upaniṣads characterize the life of the saṃnyāsin as devoid of earthly pleasures. At the same time, these and other texts record confusion and suspicion toward those who would pursue such a life, and disbelief that such severe austerity could be required. To many, the saṃnyāsin seems to forsake the good life in forsaking earthly pleasures. I call this the ‘Precluded Pleasures Objection’ to the saṃnyāsin ideal. A number of replies to the Precluded Pleasures Objection might be drawn from (...)
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  43. Pain, pleasure, and the greater good: from the Panopticon to the Skinner box and beyond.Cathy Gere - 2017 - London: University of Chicago Press.
    "Contents "--"Introduction: Diving into the Wreck" -- "1. Trial of the Archangels" -- "2. Epicurus at the Scaffold" -- "3. Nasty, British, and Short" -- "4. The Monkey in the Panopticon" -- "5. In Which We Wonder Who Is Crazy" -- "6. Epicurus Unchained" -- "Afterword: The Restoration of the Monarchy" -- "Notes" -- "Bibliography.
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  44. The Pleasure of Art.Mohan Matthen - 2017 - Australasian Philosophical Review 1 (1):6-28.
    This paper presents a new account of aesthetic pleasure, according to which it is a distinct psychological structure marked by a characteristic self-reinforcing motivation. Pleasure figures in the appreciation of an object in two ways: In the short run, when we are in contact with particular artefacts on particular occasions, aesthetic pleasure motivates engagement and keeps it running smoothly—it may do this despite the fact that the object we engagement is aversive in some ways. Over longer periods, it plays a (...)
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  45. J.S. Mill's Notion of Qualitative Superiority of Pleasure: A Reappraisal.Madhumita Mitra - 2017 - Philosophy Pathways 210 (1).
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  46. A New Defense of Hedonism about Well-Being.Ben Bramble - 2016 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3.
    According to hedonism about well-being, lives can go well or poorly for us just in virtue of our ability to feel pleasure and pain. Hedonism has had many advocates historically, but has relatively few nowadays. This is mainly due to three highly influential objections to it: The Philosophy of Swine, The Experience Machine, and The Resonance Constraint. In this paper, I attempt to revive hedonism. I begin by giving a precise new definition of it. I then argue that the right (...)
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  47. The Importance of Pleasure in the Moral for Kant's Ethics.Erica A. Holberg - 2016 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 54 (2):226-246.
    I argue for a new reading of Kant's claim that respect is the moral incentive; this reading accommodates the central insights of the affectivist and intellectualist readings of respect, while avoiding shortcomings of each. I show that within Kant's ethical system, the feeling of respect should be understood as paradigmatic of a kind of pleasure, pleasure in the moral. The motivational power of respect arises from its nature as pleasurable feeling, but the feeling does not directly motivate individual dutiful actions. (...)
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  48. The Subjective List Theory of Well-Being.Eden Lin - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (1):99-114.
    A subjective list theory of well-being is one that accepts both pluralism (the view that there is more than one basic good) and subjectivism (the view, roughly, that every basic good involves our favourable attitudes). Such theories have been neglected in discussions of welfare. I argue that this is a mistake. I introduce a subjective list theory called disjunctive desire satisfactionism, and I argue that it is superior to two prominent monistic subjectivist views: desire satisfactionism and subjective desire satisfactionism. In (...)
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  49. About the Benefits of Pleasure-in-Others’-Misfortune. Aaron Ben-Ze’ev’s Depiction of Emotions as Adaptive Mechanisms.Magdalena Michalik-Jeżowska - 2016 - Studia Humana 5 (3):53-69.
    This paper was inspired by two ideas: the concept of emotions as adaptive mechanisms, which was suggested by Aaron Ben-Ze’ev, and Robert Solomon’s criticism of the distinction between “positive” and “negative” emotions which functions in social sciences. In the context of the above mentioned theoretical perspectives I consider the infamous emotion of pleasure-in-others’-misfortune in terms of possible benefits for the experiencing subject. I focus especially on supposed adaptive quality of pleasure-in-others’-aging.
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  50. The Case Against Meat.Ben Bramble - 2015 - In Ben Bramble & Bob Fischer (eds.), The Moral Complexities of Eating Meat. New York, US: Oxford University Press.
    There is a simple but powerful argument against the human practice of raising and killing animals for food (RKF for short). It goes like this: 1. RKF is extremely bad for animals. 2. RKF is only trivially good for human beings Therefore, 3. RKF should be stopped. While many consider this argument decisive, not everyone is convinced. There have been four main lines of objection to it. In this paper, I provide new responses to these four objections.
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