The evolutionary explanation: the limits of the desire theories of unpleasantness,

Contrastes: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 23 (3):121-140 (2018)
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Several theorists have defended that unpleasantness can be explained by appealing to (intrinsic, simultaneous, de re) desires for certain experiences not to be occurring. In a nutshell, experiences are unpleasant because we do not want them, and not vice versa. A common criticism for this approach takes the form of a Euthyphro dilemma. Even if there is a solution for this criticism, I argue that this type of approach is limited in two important ways. It cannot provide an explanation for: i) the motivation, from a psychological conscious point of view, nor ii) a non-instrumental justification, for having the relevant desires. The lack of these explanations is relevant since these are precisely the type clarifications that we would expect from a theory about unpleasantness.

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Abraham Sapien
National Autonomous University of Mexico


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