From the Heterogeneity Problem to a Natural‐Kind Approach to Pleasure

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 104 (2):274-300 (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The heterogeneity problem, which stems from the alleged difficulty of finding out what all pleasant experiences have in common, is largely considered as a substantial issue in the philosophy of pleasure, one that is usually taken as the starting point for theorizing about the essence of pleasure. The goal of this paper is to move the focus away from the heterogeneity problem and toward an alternative approach to pleasure. To do this, I first show that, although the approach stemming from the heterogeneity problem has led to an interesting discussion about the essence of pleasure, it has usually endorsed an introspectionist methodology and other problematic assumptions that have led to doubtful results. I thus propose a natural-kind approach to pleasure, which seeks to determine what, if any, the natural kind of pleasure would consist in. This approach broadens the investigation of pleasure by enabling the use of a larger range of methodological tools, thus opening new promising directions for research.

Similar books and articles

The feels good theory of pleasure.Aaron Smuts - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 155 (2):241-265.
How Pleasures Make Life Better.Andrew H. Alwood - 2017 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):1-24.
An analysis of pleasure vis-a-vis pain.Murat Aydede - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (3):537-570.
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.
Attitudinal and Phenomenological Theories of Pleasure.Eden Lin - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):510-524.
How to Explain Pleasure.M. Matthen - 2014 - British Journal of Aesthetics 54 (4):477-481.
The Irreducibility of Pleasure to Desire.Olivier Massin - 2008 - Swiss Philosophical Preprints.
The distinctive feeling theory of pleasure.Ben Bramble - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):201-217.
Malicious pleasure evaluated: Is pleasure an unconditional good?Irwin Goldstein - 2003 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84 (1):24–31.
Pleasure of Art and Pleasure of Nature: A response to Matthen.Jane Kneller - 2017 - Australasian Philosophical Review 1 (1):85-89.
How to Unify Theories of Sensory Pleasure: An Adverbialist Proposal.Murat Aydede - 2014 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (1):119-133.
Constructing Aesthetic Value: Responses to My Commentators.Mohan Matthen - 2017 - Australasian Philosophical Review 1 (1):100-111.


Added to PP

475 (#38,440)

6 months
129 (#26,117)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Antonin Broi
Wuhan University

Citations of this work

Metaethical Experientialism.Andrew Y. Lee - forthcoming - In Geoffrey Lee & Adam Pautz (eds.), The Importance of Being Conscious. Oxford University Press.

Add more citations

References found in this work

On a confusion about a function of consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
Principia Ethica.George Edward Moore - 1903 - International Journal of Ethics 14 (3):377-382.
The Methods of Ethics.Henry Sidgwick - 1907 - Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 30 (4):401-401.

View all 50 references / Add more references