Attitudinal and Phenomenological Theories of Pleasure

Abstract

On phenomenological theories of pleasure, what makes an experience a pleasure is the way it feels. On attitudinal theories, what makes an experience a pleasure is its relationship to the favorable attitudes of the subject who is having it. I advance the debate between these theories in two ways. First, I argue that the main objection to phenomenological theories, the heterogeneity problem, is not compelling. While others have argued for this before, I identify an especially serious version of this problem that resists existing solutions, and I explain why even this version of the problem does not undermine phenomenological theories. Second, I argue that a grand reconciliation can be effected between the two types of theory: it can be true both that pleasures are pleasures in virtue of the way they feel and that they are pleasures in virtue of how they are related to their subjects’ favorable attitudes, so long as the attitudes that are constitutively related to pleasures are ones that feel a certain way. Hybrid views of this sort have significant advantages over pure attitudinal or phenomenological views.

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Citations of this work

The World According to Suffering.Antti Kauppinen - 2020 - In Michael S. Brady, David Bain & Jennifer Corns (eds.), The Philosophy of Suffering. London: Routledge.
The Experience Requirement on Well-Being.Eden Lin - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):867-886.
An Honest Look at Hybrid Theories of Pleasure.Daniel Pallies - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):887-907.
Psychophysical Harmony: A New Argument for Theism.Brian Cutter & Dustin Crummett - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion.
Can We Outsource All the Reasons?Hrishikesh Joshi - 2022 - Philosophical Studies:1-16.

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