The distinctive feeling theory of pleasure

  title={The distinctive feeling theory of pleasure},
  author={Ben Bramble},
  journal={Philosophical Studies},
  • Ben Bramble
  • Published 2013
  • Philosophy
  • Philosophical Studies
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… 
How to Unify Theories of Sensory Pleasure: An Adverbialist Proposal
A lot of qualitatively very different sensations can be pleasant or unpleasant. The Felt-Quality Views that conceive of sensory affect as having an introspectively available common phenomenology or
A New Defense of Hedonism about Well-Being
According to hedonism about well-being, lives can go well or poorly for us just in virtue of our ability to feel pleasure and pain. Hedonism has had many advocates historically, but has relatively
Unconscious Pleasures and Attitudinal Theories of Pleasure
This article responds to a new objection, due to Ben Bramble, against attitudinal theories of sensory pleasure and pain: the objection from unconscious pleasures and pains. According to the
Unknown pleasures
  • Ben Bramble
  • Philosophy, Psychology
    Philosophical Studies
  • 2019
According to attitudinal theories of (sensory) pleasure and pain, what makes a given sensation count as a pleasure or a pain is just the attitudes of the experiencing agent toward it. In a previous
Unconscious Pleasures and Pains: A Problem for Attitudinal Theories?
Ben Bramble, Dan Haybron and others have endorsed the idea that there are unconscious, or unfelt, pleasures and pains. These would be sensory experiences that are genuine pleasures or pains, but
The Value of Heterogeneous Pleasures
Pleasure is one of the most obvious candidates for directly improving wellbeing. Hedonists claim it is the only feature that can intrinsically make life better for the one living it, and that all of
Reasons and theories of sensory affect
Some sensory experiences are pleasant, some unpleasant. This is a truism. But understanding what makes these experiences pleasant and unpleasant is not an easy job. Various difficulties and puzzles
Why Take Painkillers
Accounts of the nature of unpleasant pain have proliferated over the past decade, but there has been little systematic investigation of which of them can accommodate its badness. This paper is such a
Attitudinal Theories of Pleasure and De Re Desires
Abstract This article has two main aims. First, it will defend an ‘attitudinal’ account of pleasure, that is, an account of what it is that makes an experience pleasurable for a subject that explains
An honest look at hybrid theories of pleasure
§1 Two eories of Pleasure Some experiences feel good. Examples include the experiences I have when I eat chocolate, listen to 80s pop-rock, watch a Los Angeles sunset, or get a back massage. ese and


The feels good theory of pleasure
Most philosophers since Sidgwick have thought that the various forms of pleasure differ so radically that one cannot find a common, distinctive feeling among them. This is known as the heterogeneity
The reduction of sensory pleasure to desire
One of the leading approaches to the nature of sensory pleasure reduces it to desire: roughly, a sensation qualifies as a sensation of pleasure just in case its subject wants to be feeling it. This
Six Theses About Pleasure
In this essay I defend six theses about pleasure: 1. 'Pleasure' has one English antonym: 'unpleasure'. 2. Pleasure is the most convincing example of an organic unity. 3. The " hedonic calculus " is a
Pleasure as a Mental State
Shelly Kagan and Leonard Katz have offered versions of hedonism that aspire to occupy a middle position between the view that pleasure is a unitary sensation and the view that pleasure is, as
Desire-Based Theories of Reasons, Pleasure, and Welfare
One of the most important disputes in the foundations of ethics concerns the source of practical reasons. On the desire-based or internalist view, only one’s desires (broadly construed) provide one
Three Faces of Desire
Desires lead to actions, influence feelings, and determine what counts as a reward. Recent empirical evidence shows that these three aspects of desire stem from a common biological origin. Informed
Are Pains Necessarily Unpleasant
With apologies for asking you to do something unpleasant, I bid you think of some painful injury you suffered recently, say a cut finger, a burned hand, or a bruised leg. Concentrate on the painful
The Myth of Pain
Pain, although very common, is little understood. Worse still, according to Valerie Gray Hardcastle, both professional and lay definitions of pain are wrongheaded--with consequences for how pain and
How Well Do We Know Our Own Conscious Experience? The Case of Visual Imagery
Philosophers tend to assume that we have excellent knowledge of our own current conscious experience or ‘phenomenology’. I argue that our knowledge of one aspect of our experience, the experience of
Utilitarianism, Hedonism, and Desert: Essays in Moral Philosophy
Introduction Part I. Utilitarianism: 1. World utilitarianism 2. On the extensional equivalence of simple and general utilitarianism 3. The principle of moral harmony 4. On the consistency of act and