Understanding hedonistic pleasure

Some of Sigmund Freud 's theories of human motivation have been called psychological hedonism; his "life instinct" is essentially the observation that people will pursue pleasure. The unstructured nature our interviews and the lack of personal data on each interviewee probably led us to overlook important life themes that could have help to shed more light on individual experiences.

Perhaps of most value is a chapter at the front of the book in which the experts all answer a standard set of questions posed by the editors. Kagan asks us to imagine the life of a very successful businessman who takes great pleasure in being respected by his colleagues, well-liked by his friends, and loved by his wife and children until the day he died.

They are land-marks and guides in our journey through life.


Intentionalist accounts of pleasure are less well known than phenomenalist accounts, so they merit brief elaboration on several points.

The obvious pluralist reply is to reject this demand for unitariness. However, in ethics, the issues are most often multifaceted and the best-proposed actions address many different areas concurrently. Even if this thesis is granted, however, it is a general feature of intentional states that their objects might or might not exist.

BCENicomachean Ethics. These kinds of attempts to refute the experience machine objection do little to persuade non-Hedonists that they have made the wrong choice. The first strategy, however, has the ability to show that Prudential Hedonism is false, rather than being just unlikely to be the best theory of well-being.

It can be a claim about grounds for action, belief, motivation or feeling; or a claim about ought, obligation, good and bad, or right and wrong. Perhaps the least known disagreement about what aspects of pleasure make it valuable is the debate about whether we have to be conscious of pleasure for it to be valuable.


The next sub-section examines arguments against ethical hedonism. Similarly, ethical hedonists agree with one another that the good is pleasure, but there is some disagreement among them, and among non-hedonists too, about what pleasure is. Ross considered two worlds that are equals both hedonically and in character terms.

Moderate phenomenalism and moderate intentionalism can be re-framed as hybrid accounts that build on the idea that pleasure has both phenomenal and intentional character. And sometimes it is not the actual so much as the possible contact that matters: This volume also includes a very detailed account of how Prudential Hedonism should be defined.

Moderate intentionalist accounts, by contrast, claim that all pleasure is both phenomenal and intentional, and this makes them consistent with phenomenalism about pleasure.

A strong intentionalist hybrid view e. The best and most detailed account of Attitudinal Hedonism. We, as humans, have forgotten how to communicate and yet we are essentially social animals.

While the meaning he assigns to these rights is largely stipulative rather than descriptive, they clearly reflect principles defended throughout his work. Despite treating all individuals equally, Hedonistic Utilitarianism is still seen as objectionable by some because it assigns no intrinsic moral value to justice, friendship, truth, or any of the many other goods that are thought by some to be irreducibly valuable.

This argument has proven to be so convincing that nearly every single book on ethics that discusses hedonism rejects it using only this argument or this one and one other.

This, he believed, would favor not only the development of the community, but the personal development of the individual. In pulling things together downstream from the Butler-Hume critique, hedonist responses might first distinguish basic from non-basic desires. A third way to interpret the phenomenal argument is as claiming that pleasure and pain are propositional feels that have feels-to-be-good and feels-to-be-bad intentional and phenomenal character, respectively.

Each also has broader philosophical significance, especially but not only in utilitarian and egoist traditions of ethical thought, and in empiricist and scientific naturalist philosophical traditions. A third clarification is this. It has also been argued that what makes an experience intrinsically valuable is that you like or enjoy it for its own sake.

1. Psychological Hedonism. Bentham's claim that pain and pleasure determine what we do makes him a psychological hedonist, and more specifically a hedonist about the determination of action.

Understanding hedonistic pleasure

He famously held a hedonistic account of both motivation and value according to which what is fundamentally valuable and what ultimately motivates us is pleasure and pain. Locke's influence was primarily as the author of the Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, and Bentham saw in him a model of one who emphasized the.

The word ‘hedonism’ comes from the ancient Greek for ‘pleasure’. Psychological or motivational hedonism claims that only pleasure or pain motivates us. If hedonistic theories identified pleasure and pain as merely two important elements, Philosophers commonly refer to this everyday understanding of hedonism as "Folk Hedonism." Folk Hedonism is a rough combination of Motivational Hedonism, Hedonistic Egoism, and a reckless lack of foresight.


Jeremy Bentham (1748—1832)

Value Hedonism and Prudential Hedonism. the good.4 In other words, Socrates’ version of Hedonism is a surprising view about pleasure, and not, as most interpreters have assumed, a surprising view about the good.

5 Irwin, for example, argues that in the Protagoras Socrates believes that what is really good is the very thing. Understanding Addiction Reward and Pleasure in The Brain.

Learning how the brain responds to pleasure has blasted the doors of addiction research wide open.

Understanding hedonistic pleasure
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