Bitter Joys and Sweet Sorrows

In C. Tappolet, F. Teroni & A. Konzelmann Ziv (eds.), Shadows of the Soul: Philosophical Perspectives on Negative Emotions. Routlege. pp. 58-73 (2018)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
We sometimes experience pleasures and displeasures simultaneously: whenever we eat sfogliatelle while having a headache, whenever we feel pain fading away, whenever we feel guilty pleasure while enjoying listening to Barbara Streisand, whenever we are savouring a particularly hot curry, whenever we enjoy physical endurance in sport, whenever we are touched upon receiving a hideous gift, whenever we are proud of withstanding acute pain, etc. These are examples of what we call " mixed feelings ". Mixed feelings are cases in which one and the same person experiences pleasure and displeasure at the same time. Mixed feelings raise two questions: If pleasure and displeasure are contraries, how can mixed feelings be possible? Does the excess of pleasure that we feel when experiencing mixed feelings itself constitute a new feeling, that results from the co-occurrence of the first two? I will argue that mixed feelings are possible and that their existence does not threaten the contrariety of pleasure and displeasure, and that there are no resultant feelings: having a lot of pleasure and a little displeasure does not result in having additional mild pleasure. Finally, I will suggest that although both false, scepticism towards the existence of mixed feelings, as well as the idea according to which resultant feelings exist, are inspired from a single and correct idea: that pleasure and displeasure do fuse in some cases.
(categorize this paper)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
Archival date: 2021-05-09
View other versions
Added to PP index

Total views
27 ( #60,577 of 2,448,728 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
22 ( #29,212 of 2,448,728 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.