Chapter 15. Desire and Pleasure

  1. Timothy O'Connor Professor of Philosophy member2 and
  2. Constantine Sandis Senior Lecturer3,4
  1. Timothy Schroeder Associate Professor of Philosophy

Published Online: 29 JUL 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444323528.ch15

A Companion to the Philosophy of Action

A Companion to the Philosophy of Action

How to Cite

Schroeder, T. (2010) Desire and Pleasure, in A Companion to the Philosophy of Action (eds T. O'Connor and C. Sandis), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444323528.ch15

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Indiana University, USA

  2. 3

    Oxford Brookes University, UK

  3. 4

    New York University in London, UK

Author Information

  1. Ohio State, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 29 JUL 2010
  2. Published Print: 30 APR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405187350

Online ISBN: 9781444323528



  • desire and pleasure;
  • theories of desire - making clear desire's connection to action, leaving obscure its connection to pleasure;
  • overabundance of theories of desire;
  • action-based theories of desire;
  • leading theory of desire, called ‘the action-based theory of desire’ - sophisticated version of the theory;
  • indifference to feelings and emphasis on action;
  • pleasure-based theories of desire;
  • combined action-based and pleasure-based theories;
  • natural kind theories - if holistic theories threaten to give desires a trivial role in explanations;
  • nature of pleasure - pleasure and displeasure, receiving behavioristic treatments


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Action - Based Theories of Desire

  • Pleasure - Based Theories of Desire

  • Combined Action - Based and Pleasure - Based Theories

  • Holistic Theories of Desire

  • Natural Kind Theories

  • The Nature of Pleasure

  • References