From the Heterogeneity Problem to a Natural‐Kind Approach to Pleasure

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 104 (2):274-300 (2023)
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The heterogeneity problem, which stems from the alleged difficulty of finding out what all pleasant experiences have in common, is largely considered as a substantial issue in the philosophy of pleasure, one that is usually taken as the starting point for theorizing about the essence of pleasure. The goal of this paper is to move the focus away from the heterogeneity problem and toward an alternative approach to pleasure. To do this, I first show that, although the approach stemming from the heterogeneity problem has led to an interesting discussion about the essence of pleasure, it has usually endorsed an introspectionist methodology and other problematic assumptions that have led to doubtful results. I thus propose a natural-kind approach to pleasure, which seeks to determine what, if any, the natural kind of pleasure would consist in. This approach broadens the investigation of pleasure by enabling the use of a larger range of methodological tools, thus opening new promising directions for research.

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Antonin Broi
Wuhan University


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