Authors
Justin Garson
Hunter College (CUNY)
Armin W. Schulz
University of Kansas
Abstract
I develop a distinction between two types of psychological hedonism. Inferential hedonism (or “I-hedonism”) holds that each person only has ultimate desires regarding his or her own hedonic states (pleasure and pain). Reinforcement hedonism (or “R–hedonism”) holds that each person's ultimate desires, whatever their contents are, are differentially reinforced in that person’s cognitive system only by virtue of their association with hedonic states. I’ll argue that accepting R-hedonism and rejecting I-hedonism provides a conciliatory position on the traditional altruism debate, and that it coheres well with the neuroscientist Anthony Dickinson’s theory about the evolutionary function of hedonic states, the “hedonic interface theory.” Finally, I’ll defend R-hedonism from potential objections.
Keywords Psychological Altruism  Biological Altruism  Evolutionary Psychology  Philosophy of Biology  Philosophy of Cognitive Science
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Reprint years 2016
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2015.11.007
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Altruism.Stephen Stich, John M. Doris & Erica Roedder - 2010 - In John M. Doris & The Moral Psychology Research Group (eds.), The Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press.

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