Explain the Difference Between Narrow and Preference Hedonism. Which Is a More Plausible Theory of Happiness?

3001 Words Oct 22nd, 2011 13 Pages
Explain the difference between narrow and preference hedonism. Which is a more plausible theory of happiness?

1. Introduction (250)
Happiness belongs to Hedonism. If one experience more happiness during life, his life will be better.

The more happiness you experience, the better your life is. There are actually two schools of thought here, Narrow Hedonism and Preference Hedonism, each with its own definition of happiness. Narrow Hedonism deems happiness a homogeneous state of pleasure, while Preference Hedonism expands the definition to include any state of mind favored by the individual, including pain (yes, pain is happiness, for some). However, the two schools are united in their focus on mental states, which as you will see is a
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Hedonists might believe that pleasure is a distinctive brain state that varies continuously, with the intense pleasure induced by opiates or cocaine at one end of the spectrum, and that pain is similar, with the intense pain of passing a kidney stone at the other end. But some hedonists believe that pains are differ qualitatively. John Stuart Mill, for example, thought that there were higher pleasures (e.g., from listening to great music or reading a great novel) and lower pleasures (e.g., from strong drink, drugs, or playing video games). There are deep questions about the nature of pleasure and pain, but for our purposes let us simplify greatly and assume that all hedonic values (positive or negative) consist of mental states (or brain states, which may or may not be equivalent) that are experienced as positive or negative.

hedonism is too inclusive: many pleasures cannot plausibly be construed as constitutive of happiness. Second, any credible theory must count either attitudes of life satisfaction, affective states such as mood, or both as constituents of happiness; yet neither sort of state reduces to pleasure. Hedonism errs in its attempt to reduce happiness, which is at least partly dispositional, to purely episodic experiential states. the dispositionality of happiness also undermines weakened nonreductive forms of hedonism,

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