Paul Bloom: The Pleasure of Suffering




Western culture today equates the pursuit of happiness with seeking out pleasure and comfort. But without the pursuit of experiences and goals that entail a certain degree of suffering, our lives would be meaningless, argues Paul Bloom in this interview.  The fundamental thesis of your new book, The Sweet Spot:  The Pleasures of Suffering and the Search for Meaning, is that suffering is necessary for a happy and meaningful life. Why do you think that claim can come as a surprise to some?

Schopenhauer vs Nietzsche: The meaning of suffering
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Many people, including many psychologist colleagues, think that we are hedonists—that pleasure is all that matters. If this is your perspective, then the importance of suffering can get missed.Now a smart hedonist can concede some role of suffering—maybe suffering now leads to more pleasure later, and the math works out so that choosing the suffering is a smart move for someone who only wants pleas…

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