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aries1988 : pleasure   3

Is there any real distinction between ‘high’ and ‘low’ pleasures?
The difficulty with resolving this disagreement about the kinds of pleasure is not that we struggle to agree on the right answer. It’s that we’re asking the wrong question. The entire debate assumes a clear divide between the intellectual and bodily, the human and the animal, which is no longer tenable. These days, few of us are card-carrying dualists who believe that we are made of immaterial minds and material bodies. We have plenty of scientific evidence for the importance of biochemistry and hormones in all that we do and think

Eating illustrates how the difference between higher and lower pleasures is not what you enjoy but how you enjoy it.

Mill was therefore right to believe that pleasures come in higher and lower forms but wrong to think that we could distinguish them on the basis of what we take pleasure in. What matters is how we enjoy them, which means that higher and lower pleasures are not two discrete categories but form a continuum.

When we learn how to take pleasure in bodily things in ways that engage our hearts and minds as well as our five senses, we give up the illusion that we are souls trapped in mortal coils, and we learn how to be fully human. We are neither angels above bodily pleasures nor crude beasts slavishly following them, but psychosomatic wholes who bring heart, mind, body and soul to everything we do.
body  mind  pleasure  philosophy 
september 2018 by aries1988
Letter of Recommendation Drinking at Lunch
a few decades after the heyday of the notorious “three-martini lunch,” the act of ordering even one measly martini with your lunch on a workday is viewed as roughly equivalent to pulling out your heroin works and splaying them on the table between courses.
work  fun  drinking  society  custom  lunch  defy  pleasure 
may 2018 by aries1988
You May Also Like by Tom Vanderbilt review – what forms our tastes in a digital age?
As is fitting in an inquiry into taste, Vanderbilt starts with food. Among rats, taste is indeed a simple thing. If they eat something, they tend to like it. The more they eat of it, the more they like it. Their social situation when eating does not seem to matter much. “Rat eating behaviour does not change according to who is watching or to feelings of guilt or virtuousness.” Humans, Vanderbilt notes, are trickier. Unlike rats, they eat things because they have never tasted them before and because they think other members of their species like them. The pleasure they get from food seems much more variable than that experienced by rats.

It’s long been understood that making pleasure your goal in life will lead to diminishing returns.
book  review  food  pleasure  society  social  eating  choice  philosophy 
august 2016 by aries1988

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