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Irwin Goldstein
Davidson College
  1. Pleasure and Pain: Unconditional Intrinsic Values.Irwin Goldstein - 1989 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 50 (December):255-276.
    That all pleasure is good and all pain bad in itself is an eternally true ethical principle. The common claim that some pleasure is not good, or some pain not bad, is mistaken. Strict particularism (ethical decisions must be made case by case; there are no sound universal normative principles) and relativism (all good and bad are relative to society) are among the ethical theories we may refute through an appeal to pleasure and pain. Daniel Dennett, Philippa Foot, R M (...)
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  2. Happiness:The Role of Non-Hedonic Criteria in Its Evaluation.Irwin Goldstein - 1973 - International Philosophical Quarterly 13 (4):523-534.
    “Happiness” is an evaluative, not a value-neutral psychological, concept.
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  3. Why People Prefer Pleasure to Pain.Irwin Goldstein - 1980 - Philosophy 55 (July):349-362.
    Against Hume and Epicurus I argue that our selection of pleasure, pain and other objects as our ultimate ends is guided by reason. There are two parts to the explanation of our attraction to pleasure, our aversion to pain, and our consequent preference of pleasure to pain: 1. Pleasure presents us with reason to seek it, pain presents us reason to avoid it, and 2. Being intelligent, human beings (and to a degree, many animals) are disposed to be guided by (...)
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  4. Malicious Pleasure Evaluated: Is Pleasure an Unconditional Good?Irwin Goldstein - 2003 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84 (1):24–31.
    Pleasure is one of the strongest candidates for an occurrence that might be good, in some respect, unconditionally. Malicious pleasure is one of the most often cited alleged counter-examples to pleasure’s being an unconditional good. Correctly evaluating malicious pleasure is more complex than people realize. I defend pleasure’s unconditionally good status from critics of malicious pleasure.
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  5. Identifying Mental States: A Celebrated Hypothesis Refuted.Irwin Goldstein - 1994 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72 (1):46-62.
    Functionalists think an event's causes and effects, its 'causal role', determines whether it is a mental state and, if so, which kind. Functionalists see this causal role principle as supporting their orthodox materialism, their commitment to the neuroscientist's ontology. I examine and refute the functionalist's causal principle and the orthodox materialism that attends that principle.
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  6. Ontology, Epistemology, and Private Ostensive Definition.Irwin Goldstein - 1996 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (1):137-147.
    People see five kinds of views in epistemology and ontology as hinging on there being words a person can learn only by private ostensive definitions, through direct acquaintance with his own sensations: skepticism about other minds, 2. skepticism about an external world, 3. foundationalism, 4. dualism, and 5. phenomenalism. People think Wittgenstein refuted these views by showing, they believe, no word is learnable only by private ostensive definition. I defend these five views from Wittgenstein’s attack.
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  7. Pain and Masochism.Irwin Goldstein - 1983 - Journal of Value Inquiry 17 (3):219-223.
    That pain and suffering are unwanted is no truism. Like the sadist, the masochist wants pain. Like sadism, masochism entails an irrational, abnormal attitude toward pain. I explain this abnormality.
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  8. Intersubjective Properties by Which We Specify Pain, Pleasure, and Other Kinds of Mental States.Irwin Goldstein - 2000 - Philosophy 75 (291):89-104.
    By what types of properties do we specify twinges, toothaches, and other kinds of mental states? Wittgenstein considers two methods. Procedure one, direct, private acquaintance: A person connects a word to the sensation it specifies through noticing what that sensation is like in his own experience. Procedure two, outward signs: A person pins his use of a word to outward, pre-verbal signs of the sensation. I identify and explain a third procedure and show we in fact specify many kinds of (...)
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  9. Neural Materialism, Pain's Badness, and a Posteriori Identities.Irwin Goldstein - 2004 - In Maite Ezcurdia, Robert Stainton & Christopher Viger (eds.), Canadian Journal of Philosophy. University of Calgary Press. pp. 261-273.
    Orthodox neural materialists think mental states are neural events or orthodox material properties of neutral events. Orthodox material properties are defining properties of the “physical”. A “defining property” of the physical is a type of property that provides a necessary condition for something’s being correctly termed “physical”. In this paper I give an argument against orthodox neural materialism. If successful, the argument would show at least some properties of some mental states are not orthodox material properties of neural events. Opposing (...)
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  10. Book Review, Peter Unger, Living High and Letting Die. [REVIEW]Irwin Goldstein - 2001 - Philosophia 28 (1-4).
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  11. Communication and Mental Events.Irwin Goldstein - 1985 - American Philosophical Quarterly 22 (October):331-338.
    How do the young learn names for feelings? After criticizing Wittgensteinian explanations, I formulate and defend an explanation very different from Wittgensteinians embrace.
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  12. Cognitive Pleasure and Distress.Irwin Goldstein - 1981 - Philosophical Studies 39 (January):15-23.
    Explaining the "intentional object" some people assign pleasure, I argue that a person is pleased about something when his thoughts about that thing cause him to feel pleasure. Bernard Williams, Gilbert Ryle, and Irving Thalberg, who reject this analysis, are discussed. Being pleased (or distressed) about something is a compound of pleasure (pain) and some thought or belief. Pleasure in itself does not have an "intentional object".
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  13. The Rationality of Pleasure-Seeking Animals.Irwin Goldstein - 1988 - In Sander Lee (ed.), Inquiries Into Value. Edwin Mellen Press.
    Reason guides pleasure-seeking animals in leading them to prefer pleasure to pain.
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