No, It Isn’t: A Response to Law on Evil Pleasure

Richard Playford


In this paper, I engage with Law's (2007) paper 'Evil Pleasure Is Good For You!' I argue that, although his criticism of hedonistic utilitarianism may hold some weight, his analysis of the goodness of pleasure is overly simplistic. I highlight some troubling results which would follow from his analysis and then outline a new account which then remedies these problems. Ultimately, I distinguish between Law's 'evil pleasures' and, what I call, 'virtuous pleasures' and show how we can accept the goodness of virtuous pleasures without being forced to say that evil pleasures are good for us. 


Ethics; Pleasure; Aristotelianism; Hedonism; Utilitarianism

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Law, I. (2008) 'Evil Pleasure is Good for You!' Ethic@, vol 7, no. 1, pp. 15-23.

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