PHI372 - Pleasure, Pain and Emotions

Affective states have a profound bearing on the quality of our lives. Chronic pain can be disabling while insensitivity to pain can be fatal; a life without pleasure looks like a life of boredom, but excessive pleasure seeking can disrupt decision-making. In the last decades, philosophers and cognitive sciences have made fascinating discoveries about pain, pleasure and emotions. In this module, we explore these recent advances. These are some of the problems that we will discuss; why does pain feel bad? Are emotions cognitive states? What is the relation between pleasure and happiness? Are moral judgements based on emotions?


Luca Barlassina


Two coursework essays (Essay 1: 50% and Essay 2: 50%) or long essay option (100%).