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Baldassare Cossa
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PostSubject: Economics of Pleasure   Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:17 am

What do you feel the role of pleasure is in human agency, and if you like in all species of living things?

Do you believe, or can we 'reasonably' assume, there is a control of pleasures and discourses on our experience, interpretation and discipline of pleasure throughout all human cultures. Should this be discussed in terms of discourses of agency [as opposed to childish conspiracy theories of control] in the cultural plane, or should we attempt to model its 'flow' as an economic praxis in the Social dimension?

Consider how a philosopher, a political scientist, a sociologist and an economist [say both Marxist and Austrian school - two economists] might approach the question. [In fact, have two or more conflicting or contrasting schools of thought for each contributor[s]].

What is the fundamental source of pleasure experience and exchange and how is it both narrated, sublimated, formulated, controlled and emancipated [for whatever preceding purposes see fit]?
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PostSubject: Re: Economics of Pleasure   Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:22 am

Pleasure is natural reaction to need fulfillment.

A momentary sensation of relief from it.


As such it is easily manipulated to control a mind in need...sometimes manufacturing wants, as amalgamation of primal needs, satisfied by symbolic cultural artifices.

This manufacturing of wants, desires, is a form of mas control and it functions by connecting primal needs, especially the sexual one...which is a secondary one to begin with...to social necessities.

I say sex is a secondary need for two reasons:

1) Its non-fulfillment does not threaten the organisms life, immediately. It may produce long term psychosomatic effects but it can be survived.

2) For this reason there is a distinct difference between the need for sex and the need for food, for example...and so one can imagine that this is because heterosexual reproduction is a relatively newer evolutionary development that had to also evolve methods of motivated the organism to perform it.

For me the primary needs, out of which all others stem, are:

Need for nutrition/energy.

Need for hydration.

Need for oxygen.

Need for particular environmental conditions, such as temperature, sunlight, specific fauna etc.

Need for cohesion. Physical unity.
The last can also be considered a need for distinction and may include all the mechanisms that maintain the organism as a single entity.
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PostSubject: Re: Economics of Pleasure   Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:09 pm

Without sex Satyr... Humans would be extinct. I guess that's why sex evolved in that same reptilian hypothalamus as did the drive for food and water.

You don't see the need to breath occuring in this little part of the brain, because breathing does not require and act of self consciousness as does sex, food and water.

Otherwise, I'm one of those rare breed of people that lives Philosophically as a Hedonist.

I actively persue pleasure and reduce suffering, not only for myself but for others. In their pleasure, my pleasure is increased.

I actively persue fleeting pleasures and those pleasures that are derived from consistant effort.

Otherwise, the source of pleasure it's controls and what not have been studied intensively by research psychologists.

They have learnt through the humble little rat... that we are all pleasure seekers.
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PostSubject: Re: Economics of Pleasure   Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:35 pm

This is not about how you choose to balance your life....it is about analyzing what pleasure and suffering are...objectively.
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PostSubject: Re: Economics of Pleasure   Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:38 am

Satyr wrote:
This is not about how you choose to balance your life....it is about analyzing what pleasure and suffering are...objectively.

Objectively they are neural signals, transmitted from synaps to dentrite.

Our work is done.

Next topic?
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PostSubject: Re: Economics of Pleasure   Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:44 am

Work done? Dig a little deeper.

Motivation and pleasure


Reinforcement
Dopamine is commonly associated with the pleasure system of the brain, providing feelings of enjoyment and reinforcement to motivate a person proactively to perform certain activities. Dopamine is released (particularly in areas such as the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex) by naturally rewarding experiences such as food, sex drugs, and neutral stimuli that become associated with them. This theory is often discussed in terms of drugs such as cocaine, nicotine, and amphetamines, which seem to directly or indirectly lead to an increase of dopamine in these areas, and in relation to neurobiological theories of chemical addiction, arguing that these dopamine pathways are pathologically altered in addicted persons. Recent studies indicate that aggression may also stimulate the release of dopamine in this way.


Reuptake inhibition, expulsion
Cocaine and amphetamines inhibit the re-uptake of dopamine; however, they influence separate mechanisms of action. Cocaine is a dopamine transporter blocker that competitively inhibits dopamine uptake to increase the lifetime of dopamine and augments an overabundance of dopamine (an increase of up to 150 percent) within the parameters of the dopamine neurotransmitters.

Like cocaine, amphetamines increase the concentration of dopamine in the synaptic gap, but by a different mechanism. Amphetamines are similar in structure to dopamine, and so can enter the terminal button of the presynaptic neuron via its dopamine transporters as well as by diffusing through the neural membrane directly. By entering the presynaptic neuron, amphetamines force dopamine molecules out of their storage vesicles and expel them into the synaptic gap by making the dopamine transporters work in reverse.


Incentive salience
Dopamine's role in experiencing pleasure has been questioned by several researchers. It has been argued that dopamine is more associated with anticipatory desire and motivation (commonly referred to as "wanting") as opposed to actual consummatory pleasure (commonly referred to as "liking").


Dopamine, learning, and reward-seeking behavior
Dopaminergic neurons of the midbrain are the main source of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine has been shown to be involved in the control of movements, the signaling of error in prediction of reward, motivation, and cognition. Cerebral dopamine depletion is the hallmark of Parkinson's disease. Other pathological states have also been associated with dopamine dysfunction, such as schizophrenia, autism, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children, as well as drug abuse. Dopamine is closely associated with reward-seeking behaviors, such as approach, consumption, and addiction. Recent researches suggest that the firing of dopaminergic neurons is a motivational substance as a consequence of reward-anticipation. This hypothesis is based on the evidence that, when a reward is greater than expected, the firing of certain dopaminergic neurons increases, which consequently increases desire or motivation towards the reward.


So pleasure seeking then; nature or nurture?
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PostSubject: Re: Economics of Pleasure   Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:14 am

aaahhhh pleeeaaasssuuurrreee what tangled webs you weave:

Animal studies
Clues to dopamine's role in motivation, desire, and pleasure have come from studies performed on animals. In one such study, rats were depleted of dopamine by up to 99 percent in the nucleus accumbens and neostriatum using 6-hydroxydopamine. With this large reduction in dopamine, the rats would no longer eat by their own volition. The researchers then force-fed the rats food and noted whether they had the proper facial expressions indicating whether they liked or disliked it. The researchers of this study concluded that the reduction in dopamine did not reduce the rat's consummatory pleasure, only the desire to actually eat. In another study, mutant hyperdopaminergic (increased dopamine) mice show higher "wanting" but not "liking" of sweet rewards.


The effects of drugs that reduce dopamine levels in humans
In humans, however, drugs that reduce dopamine activity (neuroleptics, e.g. some antipsychotics) have been shown to reduce motivation, and to cause anhedonia a.k.a. the inability to experience pleasure. Selective D2/D3 agonists pramipexole and ropinirole, used to treat Restless legs syndrome, have limited anti-anhedonic properties as measured by the Snaith-Hamilton Pleasure Scale. (The Snaith-Hamilton-Pleasure-Scale (SHAPS), introduced in English in 1995, assesses self-reported anhedonia in psychiatric patients.)


Opioid and cannabinoid transmission
Opioid and cannabinoid transmission instead of dopamine may modulate consummatory pleasure and food palatability (liking). This could explain why animals' "liking" of food is independent of brain dopamine concentration. Other consummatory pleasures, however, may be more associated with dopamine. One study found that both anticipatory and consummatory measures of sexual behavior (male rats) were disrupted by DA receptor antagonists. Libido can be increased by drugs that affect dopamine, but not by drugs that affect opioid peptides or other neurotransmitters.


Sociability
Sociability is also closely tied to dopamine neurotransmission. Low D2 receptor-binding is found in people with social anxiety. Traits common to negative schizophrenia (social withdrawal, apathy, anhedonia) are thought to be related to a hypodopaminergic state in certain areas of the brain. In instances of bipolar disorder, manic subjects can become hypersocial, as well as hypersexual. This is credited to an increase in dopamine, because mania can be reduced by dopamine-blocking anti-psychotics.


Processing of pain
Dopamine has been demonstrated to play a role in pain processing in multiple levels of the central nervous system including the spinal cord, periaqueductal gray (PAG), thalamus, basal ganglia insular cortex and cingulate cortex. Accordingly, decreased levels of dopamine have been associated with painful symptoms that frequently occur in Parkinson's disease. Abnormalities in dopaminergic neurotransmission have also been demonstrated in painful clinical conditions, including burning mouth syndrome, fibromyalgia and restless legs syndrome. In general, the analgesic capacity of dopamine occurs as a result of dopamine D2 receptor activation; however, exceptions to this exist in the PAG, in which dopamine D1 receptor activation attenuates pain presumabley via activation of neurons involved in descending inhibition. In addition, D1 receptor activation in the insular cortex appears to attenuate subsequent pain-related behavior.


Salience
Dopamine may also have a role in the salience ('noticeableness') of perceived objects and events, with potentially important stimuli such as: 1) rewarding things or 2) dangerous or threatening things seeming more noticeable or important. This hypothesis argues that dopamine assists decision-making by influencing the priority, or level of desire, of such stimuli to the person concerned.

One possible mechanism of paranoid thought architecture, both in schizophrenics and in amphetamine abusers (both groups are widely hypothesized to suffer from hyperabundance of dopamine), is as follows: hyperabundance of dopamine causes widespread salience: an impression of significance attendant to statements, events, things, etc. in the immediate environment. This heightened significance can frequently be disturbing since it may have no rational basis. The individual experiencing this heightened significance may attempt to account for it and in this way paranoid ideation begins as a theoretical structure designed to account for this disturbing impressionistic significance.

On this model, the impression of heightened significance ("Meaning beyond meaning" or "things are not as they seem" as Carol North put it[33]) is primary and gives rise to the theoretical efforts - the paranoid ideation. On this model, the paranoid ideation is engendered only indirectly by dopamine surfeit. If we follow this model, what is not clear, however, is the way in which exaggerated salience (supposing this to be a result of dopamine surfeit) gives rise to the sense of pervasive malfeasance which is a hallmark feature of paranoid schizophrenic and amphetamine-psychotic ideation.

This sense of malfeasance need not be a direct product of salience; nor is it necessary that salience be a disquieting experience. It is neither a priori nor a posteriori true that salience leads inevitably to paranoid ideation. And the conviction of malfeasance may indeed have a non-sense-impressionistic source; i.e. there is no apparent reason (other than dogmatism) to follow the dictum that nothing is in the mind that was not first in the world of sense impressions. It may be that suspicion is engendered independently of impressions of salience. However, the two would seem philosophically linked in that it is hard to imagine an object of suspicion which is not also salient. The question then can be renewed: does the salience come first or the suspicion? It could be that they occur together but are distinct.

In the case of paranoid ideation, it does not seem prima facie likely that this thought architecture would spring into existence simply because of salience. The sense of malefic conspiracy (a conspiracy which may be largely impersonal and theological, as in the case of Daniel Paul Schreber) is so consistent in paranoid ideation (of various kinds, in various individuals, of various origins) that it would seem to be a kind of mental capacity unto itself (albeit likely an exaggeration of this capacity, for vigilance or suspicion, e.g.), not something which is a product of a "suspicion-neutral" rational mind working to interpret irrational incidences of salience.

That is, there is no reason to suppose that paranoid suspicion must be engendered by sense data of some kind (even of exaggerated salience) since this arbitrarily treats the suspicion as a learned response to certain sense data, rather than a capacity unto itself. (This would be analogous to treating human aggression as a learned response rather than as an innate capacity.) And indeed there would seem good reason to suppose the existence of an innate capacity for suspicion and vigilance, since these activities would tend toward individual survival.


Behavior disorders
Pharmacological blockade of brain dopamine receptors increases rather than decreases drug-taking behavior. Since blocking dopamine decreases desire, the increase in drug-taking behaviour may be seen as not a chemical desire but as a deeply psychological desire to just 'feel something'.

Deficient dopamine neurotransmission is implicated in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and stimulant medications used to successfully treat the disorder increase dopamine neurotransmission, leading to decreased symptoms.

Latent inhibition and creative drive
Dopamine in the mesolimbic pathway increases general arousal and goal directed behaviors and decreases latent inhibition; all three effects increase the creative drive of idea generation. This has led to a three-factor model of creativity involving the frontal lobes, the temporal lobes, and mesolimbic dopamine.[36]

Dopamine and Friut Browning
The quinones and melanins derived from dopamine may help protect damaged fruit and vegetables against growth of bacteria and fungi.



Hmm boiled down: dopamine levels, pleasure seeking, heightened awareness, creativity, obsessiveness...
With out our bipolars, autistics, savants, schizos would we have any of our 'great' works at all?
Are 'nature's imbalances' all there is to it?

Worth thinking about?
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PostSubject: Re: Economics of Pleasure   Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:03 am

maryshelley wrote:
Work done? Dig a little deeper.

Motivation and pleasure

Nope... Sorry. Satyr wants an objective study of pleasure... which really amounts to neural activity.

Motivation and pleasure are subjective.

Quite franking... If you want to add motivation and pleasure... then my first post is valid to this debate.
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PostSubject: Re: Economics of Pleasure   Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:33 am

Satyr wrote:
"Pleasure is natural reaction to need fulfillment.

A momentary sensation of relief from it. "


Must pleasure simply be a matter of need fulfillment and relief? At the most fundamental levels this may be true [or it may not... A little discovery I made I have not yet divulged... hehehe]. I do not need to drink wine - but I do. Do I need sex? It certainly feels like it. I need to eat - but I'd rather eat a fine meal than a nutritious but tasteless porridge... Therefore this functionalist statement actually fails completely to address the issue - and this is the key point... This is the reason the question was asked - to show that prevalent paradigms are utterly impotent, due to their so called realist power theorems based on reductionist principles of 'survival' [whatever the hell that is!]


"As such it is easily manipulated to control a mind in need...sometimes manufacturing wants, as amalgamation of primal needs, satisfied by symbolic cultural artifices. "

This is acceptable to both the Austrian and Marxist schools of thought.

"This manufacturing of wants, desires, is a form of mas control and it functions by connecting primal needs, especially the sexual one...which is a secondary one to begin with...to social necessities. "

This is essentially a conspiracy theory biased against market capitalism [or perhaps any system of coercion, co-ordination or even consensus and consent]. Mass control there is to an extent - but one ot the tenets of Neoliberalism is that everyone is individual, even an 'manipulatable' individual will still act randomly in an incredibly complex Political-Economy, so we cannot make any singular reductive statement or assumption about mass control, we can of course - make statements in general - about the cultural whims at a given place and time. But this of course - does not make any direct statement about Pleasure 'in essence' [just as talking about an explosion, or the tension on a suspension bridge - tells us nothing about Force, Energy, Mass etc 'in essence'].

"I say sex is a secondary need for two reasons:

1) Its non-fulfillment does not threaten the organisms life, immediately. It may produce long term psychosomatic effects but it can be survived. "

Without procreation the species die. Also, sexual deprivation leads to psychiatric disorder except in very unusual cases - it is needed. Furthermore - we are talking about Pleasure, not necessity for survival.

"2) For this reason there is a distinct difference between the need for sex and the need for food, for example...and so one can imagine that this is because heterosexual reproduction is a relatively newer evolutionary development that had to also evolve methods of motivated the organism to perform it."

Of course, Pleasure may take on different qualities - energy does, on a suspension bridge it is qualitatively very different from an explosion. Just as Force in pushing a card is different from centripetal spin, qualitatively speaking. Again, we have collapsed to biological functionalism and are talking about organic processes, not the 'qualia' of Pleasure. I am not entirely sure what evolution has to do with Pleasure any more than the development of the universe has to do with humankinds use of energy to make TV, cars and bombs. Or at least I fear it is a little overemphasised here

"For me the primary needs, out of which all others stem, are:

Need for nutrition/energy.

Need for hydration.

Need for oxygen.

Need for particular environmental conditions, such as temperature, sunlight, specific fauna etc. "

this is indeed necessary for simple survival - but does not constitute pleasure. A man could be kept in a little grey room with all the necessary conditions to live but be dreadfully unhappy about it, or an animal in a zoo. Therefore the biological functionalism actually fails to assert it's own value. Surivival must mean something more than 'just that'. And our question of what Pleasure is remains unanswered.

"Need for cohesion. Physical unity.
The last can also be considered a need for distinction and may include all the mechanisms that maintain the organism as a single entity."

This would mean pleasure only exists within an organism and this is biogenic solipsism. Impossible. These things are indeed a precursor to the possibilities of making, exchanging, and fulfilling Pleasure - but say nothing about Pleasure itself.

Thank you for trying to help me - be assured I am not rebuking or degrading you. Right now, I feel a little lost. If you have any more ideas, please contribute here - help me!

If you have no ideas, then join me in an orgy??? I've got one going on right now in the Conversation forum - come join me Very Happy


in gen
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PostSubject: Re: Economics of Pleasure   Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:26 am

Sappho AD wrote:
Without sex Satyr... Humans would be extinct. I guess that's why sex evolved in that same reptilian hypothalamus as did the drive for food and water.

You don't see the need to breath occuring in this little part of the brain, because breathing does not require and act of self consciousness as does sex, food and water.

Otherwise, I'm one of those rare breed of people that lives Philosophically as a Hedonist.

I actively persue pleasure and reduce suffering, not only for myself but for others. In their pleasure, my pleasure is increased.

I actively persue fleeting pleasures and those pleasures that are derived from consistant effort.

Otherwise, the source of pleasure it's controls and what not have been studied intensively by research psychologists.

They have learnt through the humble little rat... that we are all pleasure seekers.

Yes... Now we are getting just a little closer...

Don't get too bewitched by the research psychologists however - they are dreadfully inept at almost everything except scrutiny of the most rudimentary activities [or functions, or processes, if you like]. A research psychologist is not studying pleasure per se when he observes a rat in in one of those little operant conditioning 'experiments' - this is habit, and not the sole arbiter of pleasure seeking as such psychologists care to assume [it suits the political paradigm of our times too well, this whole notion of incapacity for self control...], you have actually indicated this shortcoming in psychology by mentioning your own pleasure pursuits - and in turn also asserted the incapacity of biological reductionism or behaviourism/functionalism to actually get at the root of the issue when you say "I actively persue fleeting pleasures and those pleasures that are derived from consistant effort." - this is what we are trying to comprehend.

Should we perhaps begin with the pursuit of pleasure to understand pleasure? This is what I had hoped to do when I suggested using contrasting political and economic schools of thought - sadly we got a blend of evolutionary theory, behaviourism, genetics and conspiracy theory estranged from the subject of Pleasure itself.

It is a very tricky question - and 'getting at pleasure', the issue of pleasure itself, clearly requires a lot of reflection and working beyond many adjunct hypotheses that are themselves the disederata [or lack] within the prevalent Paradigm[s].
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PostSubject: Re: Economics of Pleasure   Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:37 am

Satyr wrote:
This is not about how you choose to balance your life....it is about analyzing what pleasure and suffering are...objectively.

even at the most fundamental level, an ameoba consuming another micro-organism, will make a very primitive 'choice', and take pleasure in doing so - for its own wellbeing which it enjoys.

Interesting point to consider: a Hindu will always speak of any living Being as 'enjoying' their life, this will include all the sufferings [they 'enjoy' the suffering, actualised and immersed within it, karma via maya], illusions, delusions and augmentations in status.

Analysing Pleasure may or may not include a coexisting or contrastive analysis of suffering. Furthermore - analysing pleasure is not about asserting the basics of biology. We are not talking about the necessities of life here, but pleasure an sich. The necessities of life themselves must incorporate pleasure of course - it is right to remind us of that, but we must get beyond the biology - and speak of pleasure as perhaps some philosophers debate about the hard problem of consciousness. For example, neurologists find it quite impossible [and will always admit they always will find it impossible] to 'reduce' consciousness to simple neurobiological function [a sociologist would make the same claim]. A brain is a precursor to consciousness - and nothing more. Biological health is a precursor to pleasure - and nothing more.

You are right, Satyr, to state explicitly these precursors as 'precedent's, or 'first principles' [although for many reasons, on several dimensions, we will see the there is not actually a single set of first principles at all ]. But now we must expand beyond the biological - and address the issue of pleasure.

Let us take a risk, and try to make it easy by perceiving pleasure as something like 'money', or even wave-packets of energy. Where can we go from here? How can we develop our quantititave debates in attempting to define Pleasure 'in substiantia'? And what then are the qualia of Pleasure[s]? What qualititative analyses can we make?

See how 'getting at pleasure' is the first, and most difficult task.
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PostSubject: Re: Economics of Pleasure   Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:39 am

Sappho AD wrote:
Satyr wrote:
This is not about how you choose to balance your life....it is about analyzing what pleasure and suffering are...objectively.

Objectively they are neural signals, transmitted from synaps to dentrite.

Our work is done.

Next topic?

Nothing has been done. See my other comments. All that has been done here is some very basic neurology - which actually says nothing about the experiential. A heartbeat is not life.
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PostSubject: Re: Economics of Pleasure   Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:49 am

maryshelley wrote:
Work done? Dig a little deeper.

Motivation and pleasure


Reinforcement
Dopamine is commonly associated with the pleasure system of the brain, providing feelings of enjoyment and reinforcement to motivate a person proactively to perform certain activities. Dopamine is released (particularly in areas such as the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex) by naturally rewarding experiences such as food, sex drugs, and neutral stimuli that become associated with them. This theory is often discussed in terms of drugs such as cocaine, nicotine, and amphetamines, which seem to directly or indirectly lead to an increase of dopamine in these areas, and in relation to neurobiological theories of chemical addiction, arguing that these dopamine pathways are pathologically altered in addicted persons. Recent studies indicate that aggression may also stimulate the release of dopamine in this way.


Reuptake inhibition, expulsion
Cocaine and amphetamines inhibit the re-uptake of dopamine; however, they influence separate mechanisms of action. Cocaine is a dopamine transporter blocker that competitively inhibits dopamine uptake to increase the lifetime of dopamine and augments an overabundance of dopamine (an increase of up to 150 percent) within the parameters of the dopamine neurotransmitters.

Like cocaine, amphetamines increase the concentration of dopamine in the synaptic gap, but by a different mechanism. Amphetamines are similar in structure to dopamine, and so can enter the terminal button of the presynaptic neuron via its dopamine transporters as well as by diffusing through the neural membrane directly. By entering the presynaptic neuron, amphetamines force dopamine molecules out of their storage vesicles and expel them into the synaptic gap by making the dopamine transporters work in reverse.


Incentive salience
Dopamine's role in experiencing pleasure has been questioned by several researchers. It has been argued that dopamine is more associated with anticipatory desire and motivation (commonly referred to as "wanting") as opposed to actual consummatory pleasure (commonly referred to as "liking").


Dopamine, learning, and reward-seeking behavior
Dopaminergic neurons of the midbrain are the main source of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine has been shown to be involved in the control of movements, the signaling of error in prediction of reward, motivation, and cognition. Cerebral dopamine depletion is the hallmark of Parkinson's disease. Other pathological states have also been associated with dopamine dysfunction, such as schizophrenia, autism, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children, as well as drug abuse. Dopamine is closely associated with reward-seeking behaviors, such as approach, consumption, and addiction. Recent researches suggest that the firing of dopaminergic neurons is a motivational substance as a consequence of reward-anticipation. This hypothesis is based on the evidence that, when a reward is greater than expected, the firing of certain dopaminergic neurons increases, which consequently increases desire or motivation towards the reward.


So pleasure seeking then; nature or nurture?

First, motivation and pleasure are two different things.

Dopamine is not the 'pleasure chemical' it is prescribed to be. That is a lengthy topic of discussion, and quite irrelevant here. Essentially using theory of addiction is attempting to explain [usually criminal or psychiatric or both] pathology using behaviourism tied to the prevalent normative [consider the Chinese, Bruce Lee's father was a heroin addict - a successful business man who reared a large family and made films - most chinese men were heroin addicts in his time and place, there was no pathology - furthermore, it gave them a little pleasure - can you see here how the Cultural itself gets in the way of the issue of Pleasure? It affects or science, our philosophy, our analysis - and it cannot be reduced to the neurobiological...].

behaviourism, for the reasons I've cited in other posts here - cannot 'get at pleasure', merely habit at best [which is what drug addiction is, a pathology with a social as well as neurological basis].

If the issue of drug addiction cannot be reduced to the purely neurobiological, due to the social conditions [bad environment, intolerant culture - or healthy drug 'addiction' in a tolerant culture where it is not perceived pejoratively as 'addiction' per se], then it cannot be used as an argumentative basis to describe pleasure - primarily for the same reason as Operant Conditioning [rat in cage] cannot be used to analyse pleasure. All it is doing is analysing social conditions, biological shaping, the categorisation via a scientific paradigm [see my other posts on my brief conention with 'pure science'] - it is not 'getting at pleasure'.
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PostSubject: Re: Economics of Pleasure   Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:56 am

Maryshelley:

"Hmm boiled down: dopamine levels, pleasure seeking, heightened awareness, creativity, obsessiveness...
With out our bipolars, autistics, savants, schizos would we have any of our 'great' works at all?
Are 'nature's imbalances' all there is to it?

Worth thinking about?"

You gave an impressive list of psychiatric and neurological facts. But you do a good job by asking if there is more to it than 'is there more to it than natures imbalances'. This is what we're trying to do - get at pleasure. If these 'imbalances' can be equated, are we looking at pleasure - that is looking beyond the simply neurological and sociological. Can we 'isolate' quanta of pleasure within the tangled mess of or Existence, and ask fundamental questions about it? This is what we're trying to do here - get past all the silly neurology and so on. And 'get at pleasure' itself. So you made a good surmise - any ideas how we can address your question about 'all there is to it'?
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PostSubject: Re: Economics of Pleasure   Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:59 am

Sappho AD wrote:
maryshelley wrote:
Work done? Dig a little deeper.

Motivation and pleasure

Nope... Sorry. Satyr wants an objective study of pleasure... which really amounts to neural activity.

Motivation and pleasure are subjective.

Quite franking... If you want to add motivation and pleasure... then my first post is valid to this debate.

See my other posts. Satyr failed to make an objective study of pleasure. Which isn't his fault - it's an unusual little question. And as you can see, a very tricky task, getting at pleasure. Satyr did a good job of making explicit at least some of the possible necessary precursors for Pleasure to actuate in any form at all, other posts have supported Satyr's explicit points. But now we must get beyond all this, and objectively study pleasure itself - which is not necessarily subjective nor motivational [focus on pleasure first, talk about any interrelations later, or at least work through the interrelations [motivation as functions, subjectivities as units] and get at pleasure. We have not done this yet.
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PostSubject: Re: Economics of Pleasure   Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:19 am

Trying to mystify a human condition, one that offers such blissful escape, is normal.

As with sex for me the string get's to be followed way back to this necessity.

Sex is a method of reproducing, necessitating two roles and this, in turn, producing two sexes with divergent characteristics and potentials, as they have been determined by this primary role of reproduction.

That this then takes on added social and psychological duties, is part of its evolution from reproductive method to one of social behavior, that further enhances this reproductivity.


Underneath it all mortality necessitates the compromises, on a genetic level.


Now, the same can be said for pleasure.

If we trace it back we find absence.
Absence, requiring no effort, whereas its fulfillment requiring effort and never being complete.

This absence can be characterized as the absence of an absolute....a metaphor for the ideal the stable the one.

This is translated, by a conscious mind, as need/suffering.

Pleasure being the partial and temporary negation of this.

Need never goes away, it just subsides out of consciousness, replaced by another - because the mind evolved to facilitate the meeting of needs in reaction to entropy.

If this feeding of a need is sudden enough or satisfies a need that has reached the level of suffering or extreme discomfort, then it is felt as ecstasy.... the brain flooded with the sensation and temporarily distracted from its purpose or from the sensation of existing. Drugs, alcohol and many religiuos experiences accomplish something akin to this.
it is the feeling of temporary abatement - a relief.


That pleasure has turned into an obsession, with many, is normal.
That it has also taken on psychological and social roles, as with sex, is also part of its evolution within a species that has reached a aprticular level of lucidity.



Then again, I may not know what I am talking about, so i leave it up to all of your combined judgments to decide.
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PostSubject: Re: Economics of Pleasure   Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:22 am

Pleasure is part of nature's balancing act?
No balance; no act.
All pain; no gain.


Flight:Fight. Stay:Play.

Here have a grape and contemplate the stars with me.
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PostSubject: Re: Economics of Pleasure   Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:25 am

maryshelley wrote:
Pleasure is part of nature's balancing act?
No balance; no act.
All pain; no gain.


Flight:Fight. Stay:Play.

Here have a grape and contemplate the stars with me.
Dear woman, life is a balancing act.

It exists as a resistance to the ubiquitous fragmentation, as a tenuous ordering.

In a sea of black, white stands out and if it finds consciousness, calls itself a balance.
Balance means stability. The tightrope walker.

But the universe does not care about your balance....it, inevitably pulls you down.

Learn to enjoy this time and use it wisely.


Pleasure is this antithesis to the norm. The distinction, the momentary absolution.
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PostSubject: Re: Economics of Pleasure   Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:55 am

Satyr wrote:
maryshelley wrote:
Pleasure is part of nature's balancing act?
No balance; no act.
All pain; no gain.


Flight:Fight. Stay:Play.

Here have a grape and contemplate the stars with me.
Dear woman, life is a balancing act.

It exists as a resistance to the ubiquitous fragmentation, as a tenuous ordering.

In a sea of black, white stands out and if it finds consciousness, calls itself a balance.
Balance means stability. The tightrope walker.

But the universe does not care about your balance....it, inevitably pulls you down.

Learn to enjoy this time and use it wisely.


Pleasure is this antithesis to the norm. The distinction, the momentary absolution.

Satyr dear.

I do not care what the universe cares not for.

If fall I must then I will eat the grape as I drop and taste the sweet juice on my tongue as the wind rushes through my hair.

Until then I am content to use time as best I can. I may even use it badly now and again.

That whistling in your ears?

It's me falling down.
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PostSubject: Re: Economics of Pleasure   Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:15 pm

You seem to fail to understand, like many of your friends.

I'm not telling you to care or not care.

I'm telling you how it is.
Your reaction to it, is irrelevant to reality, and only about you in reference to it.

This isn't a discussion over how one should live or think or react to the world, but how the world is.
This is metaphysics, where personal reactions should be kept to one's self, not psychology or 'help' advice or pearls of philosophical wisdom concerning ethics.

And so life is a distinction to the norm, which is darkness, as heat is a rarity in reference to the norm which is cold, as life is a distinction, a rarity, to the norm which is lifelessness.
You can't even call it death because death only makes sense in relation to life, as its obliteration once it exists.

As you may notice the "in reference to" is what demands constant effort....need....while the norm is what is without requiring anything else.

How YOU, or your buddies, trying to maintain their sanity in an indifferent world, react to this fact, or how you choose to deal with it and cope, is another subject altogether.

If denial is your thing, then all the power to ya.

I'm done with corrections.
Now I require something in return.
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PostSubject: Re: Economics of Pleasure   Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:24 am

Pain:Pleasure in Principle

If all pain
is relative
by what scale
should it be measured?
If all pain is relative
by what increment
should pain become relatively
bearable < > unbearable?
If all pain is relative
at what point
should my pain
become relatively
lesser < > greater
than yours?
Perhaps the measure
of pain
should be pleasure
by increments
on a grand scale.

MS
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