Streams

How Pleasure Works

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pleasure works in mysterious ways, and Paul Bloom, professor of psychology at Yale University, looks at what we desire and why. In How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like Bloom investigates pleasures of all kinds—noble and seamy, lofty and mundane.

Guests:

Paul Bloom
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Comments [9]

SKV from NYC

Can you please correct the headline from "The Pleasure Principal" to "The Pleasure Principle"?

Aug. 22 2011 01:51 PM
Christopher Jensen from Brooklyn, New York

I really like Bloom's idea that essentialist thinking is simultaneously the wrong depiction of the natural world and a valuable tool for relating to that natural world. It is a fallacy that the optimal way of perceiving the world is exactly as it is.

However, I am a little disappointed with Bloom's ignorance of the biological side of music production. There are plenty of animals that produce songs–some as complex as the human symphony–that serve social functions. And although we are still pursuing evidence for why humans love music so much, they are certainly plenty of robust hypotheses explaining why music evolved.

Aug. 18 2011 12:33 PM
Christopher Jensen from Brooklyn, New York

I really like Bloom's idea that essentialist thinking is simultaneously the wrong depiction of the natural world and a valuable tool for relating to that natural world. It is a fallacy that the optimal way of perceiving the world is exactly as it is.

However, I am a little disappointed with Bloom's ignorance of the biological side of music production. There are plenty of animals that produce songs–some as complex as the human symphony–that serve social functions. And although we are still pursuing evidence for why humans love music so much, they are certainly plenty of robust hypotheses explaining why music evolved.

Aug. 18 2011 12:32 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I agree w/both Inquisigal (thrift shops rule!) & Allstonian (someone, *please* change "Principal" to "Principle" in the episode title!). Hmm, what about the pleasure of correcting errors?

Aug. 18 2011 12:30 PM
Ericka

warm macaroni and cheese, a huge bank account, a yard full of happy rescued animals, tito puente's old cha chas, sending off a hefty donation to Doctors Without Borders, a round the world airline ticket, watching sweaty hunks playing basketball...i have to stop.

Aug. 18 2011 12:27 PM
Inquisigal from Brooklyn

Can you ask your guest about the opposite instinct - people who take pleasure in finding something they deem as valuable for a deal or on sale, or for "undiscovered" gems?

Aug. 18 2011 12:26 PM
DanInChelsea from New York City

President Nixon supposedly would serve his guests at state dinners with wine that was covered by a cloth (supposedly for handling by the waiter) while his bottle was uncovered and showed a particular fine label. Nixon didn't want to use up the good wine he had and so cheaper wine was placed in the guest's bottles.

Aug. 18 2011 12:25 PM
Kevin

Whenever Leonard says "sex" or "Sarah Palin," I have to turn the dial. I'm out!

Aug. 18 2011 12:10 PM
Allstonian from Boston

The Pleasure PRINCIPAL? Really?

Aug. 18 2011 12:09 PM

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