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Lucy Tomlinson


An epistemology of pleasure



Before starting to write this thesis, I had very little idea of what I wanted to do, I just knew I found the concept of pleasure fascinating – what people like and enjoy is a huge factor in how we decide to order our lives. TV programmes, magazines and websites all seem to be geared towards instructing us on what will give us pleasure. In the western world, we no longer eat purely to satisfy hunger or shop from necessity. Of course people have always enjoyed eating, drinking, sex, and other pleasures, but it seems that what the basics of life have been remodelled as constant opportunities for pleasure, and if we are not enjoying ourselves relentlessly, we are doing something wrong. This might seem like a utilitarian dream, but with it has come worries and doubts – do we consume too much, are our waistlines expanding too rapidly, are others enjoying themselves more, ought we be having more sex, more laughter, more fun?

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I graduated from the University of Leeds in 2003, and returned to studying philosophy at The University of Manchester in 2010.

I spent 2013-14 on maternity leave and have returned to full-time study this semester. I spend the rest of my time looking after my baby boy. Together we are investigating philosophical questions such as finding out if objects exist when you can’t see them (yes), whether animals have feelings (yes) and deciding whether food tastes better off a plate or the floor (definitely the floor).


Mind and World

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