Unknown pleasures

Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1333-1344 (2020)
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Abstract

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, in very different ways. In this paper, I reconstruct and evaluate these responses. My conclusion is that neither response succeeds.

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Ben Bramble
Australian National University

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