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

2995 WordsOct 13, 201112 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…show more content…
Finally, the nonhedonistic accounts are adequate if not superior on grounds of practical and theoretical utility, quite apart from their superior conformity to the folk notion of happiness.( Daniel M. Haybron, 2001) 2.1 Narrow hedonism (250) Narrow Hedonism: The good for a person (“pleasure”) and bad for a person (“pain”) consists of subjective experiences that are commensurable/comparable in some pretty straightforward sense; they vary mostly in intensity, duration, etc. This view is associated with Bentham. The true hedonist is tracking the narrow path between pain and pleasure, not wanting pleasure so much that it is a pain of loss not to have it, and not seeking it too much, accepting and enjoying what does arrive. Narrow Hedonists assume, fasely, that pleasure and pain are two distinctive kinds of experience. Compare the pleasures of satisfying an intense thirst or lust, listening to music, solving an untellectual problem, reading a tradegy, and knowing that one’s child is happy. These varioous experiences do not contain any distinctive common quality. What pains and pleasures have in comon are their relations to our desires. Jeremy Bentham (1970) was probably the most notorious proponent of hedonism. He espouses a type of hedonism that Derek Parfit dubs "narrow hedonism." Bentham holds that pleasure is what is good for humans; pain is bad. He says, in
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