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2013 Carnegie-Uehiro-Oxford Ethics Conference: Happiness and Well-Being

Oxford University

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2013 Carnegie-Uehiro-Oxford Ethics Conference: Happiness and Well-Being
24 min2013 JUL 8
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I argue that intrinsically desiring to feel pleasure makes it certain that pleasure is intrinsically desirable for you, which it could not do if there is a non-natural, irreducible reason to desire pleasure for its own sake. In his Utilitarianism J. S. Mill (in)famously argues that 'the sole evidence it is possible to produce that anything is desirable is that people do actually desire it'. Following G. E. Moore, many have thought that Mill here commits a 'naturalistic fallacy'. I shall rather side with Mill and argue that the fact that you intrinsically desire to feel pleasure makes it certain that pleasure is intrinsically desirable for you, which it could not do if the latter fact entailed that there is a non-natural, irreducible reason to desire pleasure for its own sake. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/