NPR Fresh Air: Dr. Anna Lembke on pleasure, pain, and addiction

  • I'm not sure I have a better one than "feeling" but I'm searching.

    As important as this "of the ____________ there are two" is, it's probably worth putting some real effort into finding a way to convey this more clearly, or at least a way to explain why whatever term is used should not carry all the connotations that we place on it in modern English.

  • I'm not sure I have a better one than "feeling" but I'm searching.

    As important as this "of the ____________ there are two" is, it's probably worth putting some real effort into finding a way to convey this more clearly, or at least a way to explain why whatever term is used should not carry all the connotations that we place on it in modern English.

    What about something like "Epicurus taught that we can only react to things in two ways: with pleasure or with pain. There is no neutral reaction. Some pleasure and pain will be intense, some not so much. But there is no such thing as a neutral reaction to that which happens to us. We use those feelings of pleasure and pain to determine what path to follow in our choices and what actions to avoid or flee from."

    That is all just off the top on my head btw... Not attached to any of it.

  • That might be better but I doubt it will suit us as a final position. This is something that is going to take some long thought and discussion probably.

  • That might be better but I doubt it will suit us as a final position. This is something that is going to take some long thought and discussion probably.

    As my high school English teacher told me:

    "You can't revise something until you have something to revise." :) Consider this the VERY rough first draft.

  • Circumplex diagram


    It hit me recently that, in looking at the circumplex diagram, the "maximum" pleasure one can experience is at the intersection of the circle and the x axis to the right. Oddly enough, that's where one would be neutral on the arousal y axis. I'm not sure of all the implications of that but does that coincide with homeostasis, eudaimonia, equilibrium...? I *think* it's significant but I'm not sure what that significance is. So, I'm putting my thoughts here for other ideas.

  • My only exposure to the circumplex has been in LFB's book, so I can't say that I fully understand how it's meant to be read. Every time I look it up, I get a different understanding.


    With that in mind, the History section of this Wikipedia entry credits it to Timothy Leary and describes it as I originally understood it: the circle being the limit and the intersection of the axes being neutral. However there are entire books written about circumplexes and it could be that there are various interpretations. The quote that I posted earlier in this thread came from an online except of an out of print book on circumplexes and gave me the impression that all relevant data occurs on the circle itself and not inside of it. So the whole circumplex model is, to me, more of a mystery the more that I get in to it, which is compromising it's usefulness. (Insert Timothy Leary joke here.)


  • Well that is interesting. I got the impression that all the action happened on the circle, too.

    Even so, I think my original idea on #45 would hold true-ish. Maximum "limit" of x to the right is the maximum possible pleasure to experience according to this model.