The Virtue of Selfishness - Chapter 6, "The Psychology of Pleasure", Nathaniel Branden (1964) Summary & Analysis

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Branden's primary assertion in this chapter is that pleasure is for humans not a luxury but a psychological need. He defines pleasure as "a metaphysical concomitant of life, the reward and consequence of successful action—just as pain is the insignia of failure, destruction, death" (p. 61). He states that the function of pleasure is to give man a sense of his own efficacy. Basically, having pleasure is enjoying life because one feels successful in the way he lives his life and because he values life and believes that life is worth living. A person's individual pleasures are determined by her values and what makes her feel like a successful being, and a person's values reflect her conscious or subconscious view of herself and of existence.

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This section contains 586 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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