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Ventham, Elizabeth, , . Reflective Blindness, Depression and Unpleasant Experiences
, Analysis, (forthcoming)
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Lizzy Ventham

Abstract: This paper defends a desire-based understanding of pleasurable and unpleasant experiences. More specifically, the thesis is that what makes an experience pleasant/unpleasant is the subject having a certain kind of desire about that experience. I begin by introducing the ‘Desire Account’ in more detail, and then go on to explain and refute a prominent set of contemporary counter-examples, based on subjects who might have ‘Reflective Blindness’, looking particularly at the example of subjects with depression. I aim to make the Desire Account more persuasive, but also to clear up more widespread misunderstandings about depression in metaethics. For example, mistakes that are made by conflating two of depression’s most prominent symptoms: depressed mood and anhedonia.

Comment: Argues in favour of a ‘desire account’ of pleasurable and unpleasant experiences. Looks in particular at cases of depression and aims to clear up wider misunderstandings about depression in metaethics.

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