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Why people prefer pleasure to pain

Philosophy 55 (July):349-362 (1980)

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  1. Happiness and Pleasure.Daniel M. Haybron - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):501-528.
    This paper argues against hedonistic theories of happiness. First, hedonism is too inclusive: many pleasures cannot plausibly be construed as constitutive of happiness. Second, any credible theory must count either attitudes of life satisfaction, affective states such as mood, or both as constituents of happiness; yet neither sort of state reduces to pleasure. Hedonism errs in its attempt to reduce happiness, which is at least partly dispositional, to purely episodic experiential states. The dispositionality of happiness also undermines weakened nonreductive forms (...)
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  • How to Unify Theories of Sensory Pleasure: An Adverbialist Proposal.Murat Aydede - 2014 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (1):119-133.
    A lot of qualitatively very different sensations can be pleasant or unpleasant. The Felt-Quality Views that conceive of sensory affect as having an introspectively available common phenomenology or qualitative character face the “heterogeneity problem” of specifying what that qualitative common phenomenology is. In contrast, according to the Attitudinal Views, what is common to all pleasant or unpleasant sensations is that they are all “wanted” or “unwanted” in a certain sort of way. The commonality is explained not on the basis of (...)
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  • 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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  • Reasons and Theories of Sensory Affect.Murat Aydede & Matthew Fulkerson - 2019 - In David Bain, Michael Brady & Jennifer Corns (eds.), The Philosophy of Pain: Unpleasantness, Emotion, and Deviance. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 27-59.
    Some sensory experiences are pleasant, some unpleasant. This is a truism. But understanding what makes these experiences pleasant and unpleasant is not an easy job. Various difficulties and puzzles arise as soon as we start theorizing. There are various philosophical theories on offer that seem to give different accounts for the positive or negative affective valences of sensory experiences. In this paper, we will look at the current state of art in the philosophy of mind, present the main contenders, critically (...)
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  • The Distinctive Feeling Theory of Pleasure.Ben Bramble - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):201-217.
    In this article, I attempt to resuscitate the perennially unfashionable distinctive feeling theory of pleasure (and pain), according to which for an experience to be pleasant (or unpleasant) is just for it to involve or contain a distinctive kind of feeling. I do this in two ways. First, by offering powerful new arguments against its two chief rivals: attitude theories, on the one hand, and the phenomenological theories of Roger Crisp, Shelly Kagan, and Aaron Smuts, on the other. Second, by (...)
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  • Hiltonism, Hedonism and the Self.Kristján Kristjánsson - 2008 - Ethics and Education 3 (1):3-14.
    In her 2006 bestseller about the rise of 'raunch culture' and of such self-ascribed 'Female Chauvinist Pigs' as the tawdry socialite Paris Hilton, Ariel Levy describes these phenomena as being indicative of a drastic cultural shift. Serious concerns have been raised, most recently by the American Psychological Association, about the effects of this culture on young girls. Recent Web sources have coined a term for the self-concept embodied and projected by Paris Hilton and her admirers: 'Hiltonism'. In this paper, I (...)
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  • On the Measurability of Pleasure and Pain.Justin Klocksiem - unknown
    The topic of my dissertation is the hedonic calculus. The hedonic calculus presupposes that pleasure and pain come in amounts amenable to addition, subtraction, and aggregation operations. These operations are ones that utilitarianism and related normative ethical theories treat as central to moral phenomena. The first chapter is an introduction to the problem--in it, I explain what the hedonic calculus is, why it is important, and why it has recently come under disfavor. The second chapter explores the nature of hedonic (...)
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  • Hedonism Reconsidered.Roger Crisp - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (3):619–645.
    This paper is a plea for hedonism to be taken more seriously. It begins by charting hedonism's decline, and suggests that this is a result of two major objections: the claim that hedonism is the 'philosophy of swine', reducing all value to a single common denominator, and Nozick's 'experience machine' objection. There follows some elucidation of the nature of hedonism, and of enjoyment in particular. Two types of theory of enjoyment are outlined-intemalism, according to which enjoyment has some special 'feeling (...)
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  • Neural Materialism, Pain's Badness, and A Posteriori Identities.Irwin Goldstein - 2004 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 34 (Supplement):261-273.
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  • The Pleasure Problem and the Spriggean Solution.Daniel Pallies - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
    Some experiences—like the experience of drinking a cool sip of water on a hot day—are good experiences to have. But when we try to explain why they are good, we encounter a clash of intuitions. First, we have an objectivist intuition: plausibly, the experience is non-derivatively good for me just because it feels the way that it does. It ‘feels good’. Thus, any experience of the same kind would be good for the person who has it. That experience would also (...)
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  • An Honest Look at Hybrid Theories of Pleasure.Daniel Pallies - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):887-907.
    What makes it the case that a given experience is pleasurable? According to the felt-quality theory, each pleasurable experience is pleasurable because of the way that it feels—its “qualitative character” or “felt-quality”. According to the attitudinal theory, each pleasurable experience is pleasurable because the experiencer takes certain attitudes towards it. These two theories of pleasure are typically framed as rivals, but it could be that they are both partly right. It could be that pleasure is partly a matter of felt-quality, (...)
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  • Is Unpleasantness Intrinsic to Unpleasant Experiences.Stuart Rachels - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 99 (2):187-210.
    Unpleasant experiences include backaches, moments of nausea, moments of nervousness, phantom pains, and so on. What does their unpleasantness consist in? The unpleasantness of an experience has been thought to consist in: (1) its representing bodily damage; (2) its inclining the subject to fight its continuation; (3) the subject's disliking it; (4) features intrinsic to it. I offer compelling objections to (1) and (2) and less compelling objections to (3). I defend (4) against five challenging objections and offer two reasons (...)
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  • Why Take Painkillers?David Bain - 2019 - Noûs 53 (2):462-490.
    Accounts of the nature of unpleasant pain have proliferated over the past decade, but there has been little systematic investigation of which of them can accommodate its badness. This paper is such a study. In its sights are two targets: those who deny the non-instrumental disvalue of pain's unpleasantness; and those who allow it but deny that it can be accommodated by the view—advanced by me and others—that unpleasant pains are interoceptive experiences with evaluative content. Against the former, I argue (...)
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  • Evaluative Beliefs First.Ben Bramble - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 8.
    Many philosophers think that it is only because we happen to want or care about things that we think some things of value. We start off caring about things, and then project these desires onto the external world. In this chapter, I make a preliminary case for the opposite view, that it is our evaluative thinking that is prior or comes first. On this view, it is only because we think some things of value that we care about or want (...)
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  • The Role of Pleasure in Well-Being.Ben Bramble - 2015 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge.
    What is the role of pleasure in determining a person’s well-being? I start by considering the nature of pleasure (i.e., what pleasure is). I then consider what factors, if any, can affect how much a given pleasure adds to a person’s lifetime well-being other than its degree of pleasurableness (i.e., how pleasurable it is). Finally, I consider whether it is plausible that there is any other way to add to somebody’s lifetime well-being than by giving him some pleasure or helping (...)
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  • 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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  • The Case for Stance Dependent Reasons.David Sobel - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 15 (2).
    Many philosophers maintain that neither one’s reasons for action nor well-being are ever grounded in facts about what we desire or favor. Yet our reasons to eat a flavor of ice cream we like rather than one we do not seem an obvious counter-example. I argue that there is no getting around such examples and that therefore a fully stance independent account of the grounding of our reasons is implausible. At least in matters of mere taste our “stance” plays a (...)
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  • Essays by Stuart Rachels.Stuart Rachels - unknown
    Over the last fifty years, traditional farming has been replaced by industrial farming. Unlike traditional farming, industrial farming is abhorrently cruel to animals, environmentally destructive, awful for rural America, and wretched for human health. In this essay, I document those facts, explain why the industrial system has become dominant, and argue that we should boycott industrially produced meat. Also, I argue that we should not even kill animals humanely for food, given our uncertainty about which creatures possess a right to (...)
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  • Hedonic Tone and the Heterogeneity of Pleasure.Ivar Labukt - 2012 - Utilitas 24 (2):172-199.
    Some philosophers have claimed that pleasures and pains are characterized by their particular or . Most contemporary writers reject this view: they hold that hedonic states have nothing in common except being liked or disliked (alternatively: pursued or avoided) for their own sake. In this article, I argue that the hedonic tone view has been dismissed too quickly: there is no clear introspective or scientific evidence that pleasures do not share a phenomenal quality. I also argue that analysing hedonic states (...)
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  • Sidgwick on Pleasure.Robert Shaver - 2016 - Ethics 126 (4):901-928.
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  • Identifying Mental States: A Celebrated Hypothesis Refuted.Irwin Goldstein - 1994 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72 (1):46-62.
    Functionalists think an event's causes and effects, its 'causal role', determines whether it is a mental state and, if so, which kind. Functionalists see this causal role principle as supporting their orthodox materialism, their commitment to the neuroscientist's ontology. I examine and refute the functionalist's causal principle and the orthodox materialism that attends that principle.
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  • Pleasure.Leonard D. Katz - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Pleasure, in the inclusive usages most important in moral psychology, ethical theory, and the studies of mind, includes all joy and gladness — all our feeling good, or happy. It is often contrasted with similarly inclusive pain, or suffering, which is similarly thought of as including all our feeling bad. Contemporary psychology similarly distinguishes between positive affect and negative affect.[1..
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