The Pleasure Problem and the Spriggean Solution

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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 ‘feel good’. Second, we have a subjectivist intuition: if a person were indifferent to that kind of experience, then it might fail to be good for that person. Third, we have a possibility intuition: for any kind of experience, possibly there is a subject who is indifferent to that kind of experience. The Pleasure Problem is the problem we face in reconciling these three claims. I explain the problem and I argue for a solution. I argue that we ought to reject the most common solutions: rejecting the objectivist or subjectivist intuitions. Instead we ought to follow Timothy Sprigge in rejecting the possibility claim. We should embrace the view that experiences bear necessary connections to our attitudes.
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Archival date: 2021-08-08
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