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Pleasure as self-discovery

Clark, Samuel (2012) Pleasure as self-discovery. Ratio, 25 (3). pp. 260-276. ISSN 0034-0006

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    Abstract

    This paper uses readings of two classic autobiographies, Edmund Gosse’s Father & Son and John Stuart Mill’s Autobiography, to develop a distinctive answer to an old and central question in value theory: What role is played by pleasure in the most successful human life? A first section defends my method. The main body of the paper than defines and rejects voluntarist, stoic, and developmental hedonist lessons to be taken from central crises in my two subjects’ autobiographies, and argues for a fourth, diagnostic lesson: Gosse and Mill perceive their individual good through the medium of pleasure. Finally, I offer some speculative moral psychology of human development, as involving the waking, perception, management, and flowering of generic and individual capacities, which I suggest underlies Gosse and Mill’s experiences. The acceptance of one’s own unchosen nature, discovered by self-perceptive pleasure in the operation of one’s nascent capacities, is the beginning of a flourishing adulthood in which that nature is fully developed and expressed.

    Item Type: Article
    Journal or Publication Title: Ratio
    Additional Information: This is a pre-print of an article published in Ratio, 25 (3), 2012. (c) Wiley & Sons.
    Uncontrolled Keywords: pleasure ; John Stuart Mill ; Edmund Gosse ; value theory ; the self
    Subjects:
    Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Politics & International Relations (Merged into PPR 2010-08-01)
    ID Code: 50624
    Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
    Deposited On: 01 Nov 2011 14:09
    Refereed?: Yes
    Published?: Published
    Last Modified: 28 Feb 2013 11:40
    Identification Number:
    URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/50624

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