Pleasure - Pleasure As A Uniquely Human Experience

Pleasure As A Uniquely Human Experience

There has been debate as to whether pleasure is experienced by other animals rather than being an exclusive property of humankind. On the one hand, Jeremy Bentham (usually regarded as the founder of Utilitarianism) and Beth Dixon both argue that they do—the latter, however, in a carefully worded manner. People who believe in human exceptionalism might argue that it is a form of anthropomorphism to ascribe any human experience to animals, including pleasure. Others view animal behaviour simply as responses to stimuli; this is the way behaviourists look at the evidence, Pavlov's dogs (or rather his explanation of their behaviour) being the best-known example. However, it may be argued that we simply cannot know whether animals experience pleasure, and most scientists, indeed, prefer to remain neutral while utilizing anthropomorphisms as and when they need them. It appears, though, that those who recognise emotions in animals are in the ascent: many ethologists, for example Marc Bekoff, are prepared to draw the conclusion that animals do experience emotions, though these are not necessarily the same as human emotions.

Read more about this topic:  Pleasure

Famous quotes containing the words pleasure as, pleasure, uniquely, human and/or experience:

    The fall into the abyss of deconstruction inspires us with as much pleasure as fear. We are intoxicated with the prospect of never hitting bottom.
    Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (b. 1942)

    The child knows only that he engages in play because it is enjoyable. He isn’t aware of his need to play—a need which has its source in the pressure of unsolved problems. Nor does he know that his pleasure in playing comes from a deep sense of well-being that is the direct result of feeling in control of things, in contrast to the rest of his life, which is managed by his parents or other adults.
    Bruno Bettelheim (20th century)

    [T]ea, that uniquely English meal, that unnecessary collation at which no stimulants—neither alcohol nor meat—are served, that comforting repast of which to partake is as good as second childhood.
    Angela Carter (1940–1992)

    It is his weakness to be proud: he derives, from a comparison of his own extraordinary mind with the dwarfish intellects that surround him, an intense apprehension of the nothingness of human life.
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)

    The old—like children—talk to themselves, for they have reached that hopeless wisdom of experience which knows that though one were to cry it in the streets to multitudes, or whisper it in the kiss to one’s beloved, the only ears that can ever hear one’s secrets are one’s own!
    Eugene O’Neill (1888–1953)