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  1. Unknown Pleasures.Ben Bramble - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1333-1344.
    According to attitudinal theories of pleasure and pain, what makes a given sensation count as a pleasure or a pain is just the attitudes of the experiencing agent toward it. In a previous article, I objected to such theories on the grounds that they cannot account for pleasures and pains whose subjects are entirely unaware of them at the time of experience. Recently, Chris Heathwood and Fred Feldman, the two leading contemporary defenders of attitudinal theories, have responded to this objection, (...)
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  • The Unity and Commensurability of Pleasures and Pains.Ole Martin Moen - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (2):527-543.
    In this paper I seek to answer two interrelated questions about pleasures and pains: (i) The question of unity: Do all pleasures share a single quality that accounts for why these, and only these, are pleasures, and do all pains share a single quality that accounts for why these, and only these, are pains? (ii) The question of commensurability: Are all pleasures and pains rankable on a single, quantitative hedonic scale? I argue that our intuitions draw us in opposing directions: (...)
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  • The Feels Good Theory of Pleasure.Aaron Smuts - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 155 (2):241-265.
    Most philosophers since Sidgwick have thought that the various forms of pleasure differ so radically that one cannot find a common, distinctive feeling among them. This is known as the heterogeneity problem. To get around this problem, the motivational theory of pleasure suggests that what makes an experience one of pleasure is our reaction to it, not something internal to the experience. I argue that the motivational theory is wrong, and not only wrong, but backwards. The heterogeneity problem is the (...)
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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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  • The Reduction of Sensory Pleasure to Desire.Chris Heathwood - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (1):23-44.
    One of the leading approaches to the nature of sensory pleasure reduces it to desire: roughly, a sensation qualifies as a sensation of pleasure just in case its subject wants to be feeling it. This approach is, in my view, correct, but it has never been formulated quite right; and it needs to be defended against some compelling arguments. Thus the purpose of this paper is to discover the most defensible formulation of this rough idea, and to defend it against (...)
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  • A Defense of Basic Prudential Hedonism.Joe Nelson - 2020 - Dissertation, Duke University
    Prudential hedonism is a school of thought in the philosophy of welfare that says that only pleasure is good for us in itself and only pain is bad for us in itself. This dissertation concerns an especially austere form of prudential hedonism: basic prudential hedonism (BPH). BPH claims that all pleasure is good for us in itself, and all pain is bad for us in itself, without exception; that all pleasures feel fundamentally alike, as do all pains; and that the (...)
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  • Hedonism as the Explanation of Value.David Brax - 2009 - Dissertation, Lund University
    This thesis defends a hedonistic theory of value consisting of two main components. Part 1 offers a theory of pleasure. Pleasures are experiences distinguished by a distinct phenomenological quality. This quality is attitudinal in nature: it is the feeling of liking. The pleasure experience is also an object of this attitude: when feeling pleasure, we like what we feel, and part of how it feels is how this liking feels: Pleasures are Internally Liked Experiences. Pleasure plays a central role in (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Sobel on Pleasure, Reason, and Desire.Attila Tanyi - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (1):101-115.
    The paper begins with a well-known objection to the idea that reasons for action are provided by desires. The objection holds that since desires are based on reasons (first premise), which they transmit but to which they cannot add (second premise), they cannot themselves provide reasons for action. In the paper I investigate an attack that has recently been launched against the first premise of the argument by David Sobel. Sobel invokes a counterexample: hedonic desires, i.e. the likings and dislikings (...)
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  • Pleasure and Its Contraries.Olivier Massin - 2014 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (1):15-40.
    What is the contrary of pleasure? “Pain” is one common answer. This paper argues that pleasure instead has two natural contraries: unpleasure and hedonic indifference. This view is defended by drawing attention to two often-neglected concepts: the formal relation of polar opposition and the psychological state of hedonic indifference. The existence of mixed feelings, it is argued, does not threaten the contrariety of pleasure and unpleasure.
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  • The Case Against Meat.Ben Bramble - 2015 - In Ben Bramble Bob Fischer (ed.), The Moral Complexities of Eating Meat. Oxford University Press.
    There is a simple but powerful argument against the human practice of raising and killing animals for food (RKF for short). It goes like this: 1. RKF is extremely bad for animals. 2. RKF is only trivially good for human beings Therefore, 3. RKF should be stopped. While many consider this argument decisive, not everyone is convinced. There have been four main lines of objection to it. In this paper, I provide new responses to these four objections.
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  • Desire-Satisfaction Theories of Welfare.Chris Heathwood - 2005 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Theories of welfare answer the ancient question, What makes a person's life go well? Prominent among these are desire-satisfaction or preferentist theories, according to which welfare has to do ultimately with desire. This dissertation aims to criticize some recent popular arguments against standard desire-satisfaction theories of welfare, to develop and defend a novel version of the desire-satisfaction theory capable of answering the better objections, to defend the thesis that pleasure is reducible to desire, and to demonstrate an interesting link between (...)
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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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  • The Irreducibility of Pleasure to Desire.Olivier Massin - 2008 - Swiss Philosophical Preprints.
    One common answer to the question of the unity of pleasures is to try to define pleasantness by appealing to a kind of mental states whose unity is less questionable. Desires have been conceived as the best candidates for this unifying role. Indeed, one way of classifying the preceding options concerning the definition of pleasantness, is to constrast conative (or motivational) theories of pleasure with non conative ones. Conative theories of pleasure are often considered as one homogeneous type of pleasure (...)
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  • On Susan Wolf’s “Good-for-Nothings".Ben Bramble - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (5):1071-1081.
    According to welfarism about value, something is good simpliciter just in case it is good for some being or beings. In her recent Presidential Address to the American Philosophical Association, “Good-For-Nothings”, Susan Wolf argues against welfarism by appeal to great works of art, literature, music, and philosophy. Wolf provides three main arguments against this view, which I call The Superfluity Argument, The Explanation of Benefit Argument, and The Welfarist’s Mistake. In this paper, I reconstruct these arguments and explain where, in (...)
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  • Reason and Desire: The Case of Affective Desires.Attila Tanyi - 2010 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 6 (2):67-89.
    The paper begins with an objection to the Desire-Based Reasons Model. The argument from reason-based desires holds that since desires are based on reasons (first premise), which they transmit but to which they cannot add (second premise), they cannot themselves provide reasons for action. In the paper I investigate an attack that has recently been launched against the first premise of this argument by Ruth Chang. Chang invokes a counterexample: affective desires. The aim of the paper is to see if (...)
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  • Unconscious Pleasures and Attitudinal Theories of Pleasure.Chris Heathwood - 2018 - Utilitas 30 (2):219-227.
    This paper responds to a new objection, due to Ben Bramble, against attitudinal theories of sensory pleasure and pain: the objection from unconscious pleasures and pains. According to the objection, attitudinal theories are unable to accommodate the fact that sometimes we experience pleasures and pains of which we are, at the time, unaware. In response, I distinguish two kinds of unawareness and argue that the subjects in the examples that support the objection are unaware of their sensations in only a (...)
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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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