How to Use the Paradox of Hedonism

Journal of Moral Philosophy 18 (4):387-411 (2021)
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Abstract

The paradox of hedonism is the idea that intrinsically desiring nothing other than pleasure can prevent one from obtaining pleasure. In this article, I show how the paradox of hedonism can be used as the basis for an objection against hedonism about well-being, and one that is more defensible than has been commonly recognized. Moreover, I argue that the challenge presented by the paradox can be used to target not only hedonism about well-being, but also desire satisfactionism and the hybrid theory. However, I argue that certain sophisticated versions of all three theories can escape it.

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Alexander Dietz
University of Southern California (PhD)

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