The distinctive feeling theory of pleasure

Philosophical Studies 162 (2):201-217 (2013)
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Abstract

In this article, I attempt to resuscitate the perennially unfashionable distinctive feeling theory of pleasure (and pain), according to which for an experience to be pleasant (or unpleasant) is just for it to involve or contain a distinctive kind of feeling. I do this in two ways. First, by offering powerful new arguments against its two chief rivals: attitude theories, on the one hand, and the phenomenological theories of Roger Crisp, Shelly Kagan, and Aaron Smuts, on the other. Second, by showing how it can answer two important objections that have been made to it. First, the famous worry that there is no felt similarity to all pleasant (or unpleasant) experiences (sometimes called ‘the heterogeneity objection’). Second, what I call ‘Findlay’s objection’, the claim that it cannot explain the nature of our attraction to pleasure and aversion to pain.

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Ben Bramble
Australian National University

Citations of this work

Why Take Painkillers?David Bain - 2019 - Noûs 53 (2):462-490.
Reasons and Theories of Sensory Affect.Murat Aydede & Matthew Fulkerson - 2018 - In David Bain, Michael Brady & Jennifer Corns (eds.), Philosophy of Pain. London: Routledge. pp. 27-59.
How to Unify Theories of Sensory Pleasure: An Adverbialist Proposal.Murat Aydede - 2014 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (1):119-133.
The Value of Consciousness.Uriah Kriegel - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):503-520.

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Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
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