Abstract

Several tensions run through philosophical debates on the nature of pleasure: is it a feeling or an attitude? Is it excited engagement during activities, or satisfaction and contentment at their completion? Pleasure also plays fundamental explanatory roles in psychology, neuroscience, and animal behavior. I draw on this work to argue that pleasure picks out two distinct, but interacting neurobiological systems with long evolutionary histories. Understanding pleasure as having these two facets gives us a better account of pleasure and explains the persistent tensions in the concept. This account of pleasure also sheds light on happiness and well-being.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2154-154X
Print ISSN
0276-2080
Pages
pp. 215-236
Launched on MUSE
2015-02-13
Open Access
No
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