Authors
Garrett Cullity
Australian National University
Abstract
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 of its popularity from the advantages of an axiological theory that is structured in the way advocated by Brentano. However, I argue that we should reject the Mainstream View, in favour of an alternative suggested by Aristotle: this distinguishes between nonderivative goodness and exceptionless goodness. When it is good, being pleased is good nonderivatively – but it is not always good. The aim of the paper is to show how a Brentano-style theory can be modified to accommodate this alternative view, and how that supports a case for accepting it.
Keywords value  axiology  pleasure  suffering  Brentano  undermining  sadism  envy
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Reprint years 2019
DOI 10.1111/phpr.12397
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