Recent work on pain focuses on the question “what makes pains unpleasant.” Second-order desire views claim that the unpleasantness of pain consists in a second-order intrinsic desire that the pain experience itself cease or stop. This paper considers a significant objection to Second-order desire views by considering the case of the masochist. It is argued that various ways in which the Second-order desire view might try to account for the case of the masochist encounter problems. The conclusion is that until there is a convincing explanation of how Second-order desire views can handle masochistic psychology, theorists should look elsewhere for an account of pains unpleasantness.

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