Philosophia 41 (2):527-543 (2013)

Authors
Ole Moen
University of Oslo
Abstract
In this paper I seek to answer two interrelated questions about pleasures and pains: (i) The question of unity: Do all pleasures share a single quality that accounts for why these, and only these, are pleasures, and do all pains share a single quality that accounts for why these, and only these, are pains? (ii) The question of commensurability: Are all pleasures and pains rankable on a single, quantitative hedonic scale? I argue that our intuitions draw us in opposing directions: On the one hand, pleasures and pains seem unified and commensurable; on the other hand, they do not. I further argue that neither intuition can be abandoned, and examine three different paths to reconciliation. The first two are response theory and split experience theory. Both of these, I argue, are unsuccessful. A third path, however—which I label “dimensionalism” —succeeds. Dimensionalism is the theory that pleasure and pain have the ontological status as opposite sides of a hedonic dimension along which experiences vary. This view has earlier been suggested by C. D. Broad, Karl Duncker, Shelly Kagan, and John Searle, but it has not been worked out in detail. In this paper I work out the dimensionalist view in some detail, defend it, and explain how it solves the problem of the unity and commensurability of pleasures and pains
Keywords Pleasure  Pain  Heterogeneity objection  Commensurability
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s11406-012-9383-4
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 68,908
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
The Sources of Normativity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Welfare, Happiness, and Ethics.L. W. Sumner - 1996 - Oxford University Press.

View all 36 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

An Honest Look at Hybrid Theories of Pleasure.Daniel Pallies - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):887-907.
An Argument for Hedonism.Ole M. Moen - 2016 - Journal of Value Inquiry 50 (2):267-281.
Plaisir (Entrée académique).Antonin Broi - 2020 - L'Encyclopédie Philosophique.
A Defense of Basic Prudential Hedonism.Joe Nelson - 2020 - Dissertation, Duke University

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Remarks on the Ancient Distinction Between Bodily and Mental Pleasures.Maria Ossowska - 1961 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 4 (1-4):123-127.
Felt Evaluations: A Theory of Pleasure and Pain.Bennett W. Helm - 2002 - American Philosophical Quarterly 39 (1):13-30.
The Intentionality of Pleasures.Olivier Massin - 2013 - In Denis Fisette & Guillaume Fréchette (eds.), Themes from Brentano. Rodopi. pp. 307-337.
Does the Is-Ought Issue Suggest a Transcendental Realm?Halil Turan - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 1:7-12.
Six Theses About Pleasure.Stuart Rachels - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):247-267.
On Pleasures.Olivier Massin - 2011 - Dissertation, Geneva
Do Pleasures and Pains Differ Qualitatively?Rem B. Edwards - 1975 - Journal of Value Inquiry 9 (4):270-81.
No Life is Good.David Benatar - 2011 - The Philosophers' Magazine 53 (53):62-66.
Plato on the Possibility of Hedonic Mistakes.Matthew Evans - 2008 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 35:89-124.
Pleasures and Pains: A Theory of Qualitative Hedonism.J. M. Howarth - 1981 - Philosophical Books 22 (4):250-251.
Pathological Pleasures and Pains.Theodule Ribot - 1895 - The Monist 6 (2):176-187.
Pleasures and Pains: A Theory of Qualitative Hedonism.Oliver A. Johnson - 1981 - International Studies in Philosophy 13 (2):83-84.
Joies Amères Et Douces Peines [Bitter Joys and Sweet Sorrows].Olivier Massin - 2011 - In Christine Tappolet, Fabrice Teroni & Anita Konzelmann Ziv (eds.), Les ombres de l'âme, Penser les émotions négatives. Markus Haller.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-08-16

Total views
88 ( #130,605 of 2,497,742 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
19 ( #44,098 of 2,497,742 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes