Is pleasure all that is good about experience?

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Experientialist accounts of wellbeing are those accounts of wellbeing that subscribe to the experience requirement. Typically, these accounts are hedonistic. In this article I present the claim that hedonism is not the most plausible experientialist account of wellbeing. The value of experience should not be understood as being limited to pleasure, and as such, the most plausible experientialist account of wellbeing is pluralistic, not hedonistic. In support of this claim, I argue first that pleasure should not be understood as a broad term to describe valuable experiences generally. I then analyze responses to the main argument against a monistic view on the value of experience: the philosophy of swine objection. I argue that such responses deviate from the central hedonistic view that only pleasure and pain matter for wellbeing. I then argue that the argument can be avoided on a pluralistic account, and formulate a plausible candidate for an account of pluralistic experientialism, in which, besides pleasure, non-hedonic aspects of experience like novelty, compassion, and aesthetic value also contribute to wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1769-1787
Number of pages19
Issue number7
Early online date2018
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


  • Hedonism
  • LIFE
  • Philosophy of swine
  • Pleasure
  • Pluralism
  • Wellbeing


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