Analysis 79 (4):684-693 (2019)

Elizabeth Ventham
University of Liverpool
This paper defends a desire-based understanding of pleasurable and unpleasant experiences. More specifically, the thesis is that what makes an experience pleasant/unpleasant is the subject having a certain kind of desire about that experience. I begin by introducing the ‘Desire Account’ in more detail, and then go on to explain and refute a prominent set of contemporary counter-examples, based on subjects who might have ‘Reflective Blindness’, looking particularly at the example of subjects with depression. I aim to make the Desire Account more persuasive, but also to clear up more widespread misunderstandings about depression in metaethics. For example, mistakes that are made by conflating two of depression’s most prominent symptoms: depressed mood and anhedonia.
Keywords Reflective Blindness  Desire  Unpleasant Experiences  Pleasant Experiences  Depression  Anhedonia  The Motivational Account  Desire Theories of Pleasure  Unconscious Pleasures  Attitudinal Theories of Pleasure
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DOI 10.1093/analys/any093
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
The Sources of Normativity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
The Sources of Normativity.Christine Korsgaard - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (196):384-394.
Reasons and the Good.Roger Crisp - 2006 - Clarendon Press.

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Depression as a Disorder of Consciousness.Cecily Whiteley - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.

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