Philosophical Studies

, Volume 128, Issue 3, pp 539–563

Desire Satisfactionism and Hedonism


DOI: 10.1007/s11098-004-7817-y

Cite this article as:
Heathwood, C. Philos Stud (2006) 128: 539. doi:10.1007/s11098-004-7817-y


Hedonism and the desire-satisfaction theory of welfare (“desire satisfactionism”) are typically seen as archrivals in the contest over identifying what makes one’s life go best. It is surprising, then, that the most plausible form of hedonism just is the most plausible form of desire satisfactionism. How can a single theory of welfare be a version of both hedonism and desire satisfactionism? The answer lies in what pleasure is: pleasure is, in my view, the subjective satisfaction of desire. This thesis about pleasure is clarified and defended only after we proceed through the dialectics that get us to the most plausible forms of hedonism and desire satisfactionism.

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© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Colorado at BoulderBoulderUSA