Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 1
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Goldman, Alan H. 2008. The Case Against Objective Values. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Vol. 11, Issue. 5, p. 507.

  • Print publication year: 1994
  • Online publication date: May 2010

5 - Pleasure and its intrinsic value


What kinds of things are intrinsically good? Traditionally, a variety of things have been thought to be intrinsically good: pleasure, morally good emotions, the satisfaction of desire, correct judgment, knowledge, understanding, consciousness itself, beauty, and, in at least some cases, the flourishing of nonsentient life. In this chapter and the next, I defend the view that most of these things are intrinsically good. In this chapter, however, I focus on the nature and value of pleasure and hedonism in general.


I wish to consider briefly three views on the nature of sensory and nonsensory pleasure. These views are those of Butchvarov, the Chisholm-Brentano view, and a recent proposal by Fred Feldman. Examples of sensory pleasures are gustatory and olfactory pleasures and the pleasures of a warm bath or massage. Examples of nonsensory pleasure are being pleased that one's work is going well, being pleased that one's newborn child is healthy, and being pleased that one's spouse has won the lottery. In earlier chapters, we have used examples of nonsensory pleasures to illustrate the principle of organic unities.

With respect to sensory pleasures, there seems to be no common distinctive sensation or sense content that we can point to as the pleasure. The pleasures of a warm bath, a massage, and a fragrant odor are very different, yet each of these is a sensory pleasure. As different as these pleasures are, they seem to have more in common with one another than they have with nonsensory pleasures.

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

Intrinsic Value
  • Online ISBN: 9780511663802
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *