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How Convincing Is the Thesis for the Identification of Happiness with Pleasure?

  • Date Submitted: 03/23/2014 03:55 PM
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13.05.2013

Systematic Survey of ETHR111:
How convincing is the thesis for the identification of happiness with pleasure?
In my systematic survey, I am going to analyze if the thesis for the identification of happiness with pleasure is convincing. In doing this, I am going to use Wayne Davis’ and Daniel Hybron’s views and ideas about happiness and pleasure. In order to investigate the convincing proof of pleasure thesis on happiness, we first have to understand their conceptions and explanations of pleasure and happiness individually.
According to Wayne Davis, pleasure and happiness come from the same state of mind or mental state. Davis separates happiness into two; occurent and dispositional. Occurent ones are the “episodes” of happiness; they are segments of happiness which are happening just for the moment. Dispositional happiness on the other hand, is the type of happiness which has some sense of durability, which prolongs, continues. In Davis’ words, it is the type of happiness which is “permanent”.
According to Wayne Davis, getting pleasure is equal to “happification”. It is a term invented by Davis. He then splits sources of pleasure (ergo happiness) into two: epistemic, and non-epistemic. Epistemic pleasures come from the belief that I do something pleasant. When we help someone, or contribute to charity, it belongs to epistemic pleasure. The pleasure comes from the idea that we are doing something considered as “good” by the society. According to him, non-epistemic pleasure which comes from the action, which comes from an episode, doesn’t bring happiness.
According to Davis, every relational pleasure is equivalent with a relational happiness. Davis has this thesis of “The happier I am, it means that I am having pleasure, and if I am having pleasure, it means I am getting happier.” His idea is that happiness is identical with only occurent pleasures.
I agree with Davis in this point, of course the place of pleasure cannot be denied in...

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