is commonly conceptualized as a positive experience, happiness
, and euphoria
, but is hard to define as it may be different depending upon the individual in question.
People commonly feel this phenomenon through eating, exercise, sexuality, music, usage of drugs, writing, accomplishment, recognition, service, and any other imaginable activity and even pain (known by its medical terminology masochism). It also refers to "enjoyment" related to certain physical, sensual, emotional or mental experience.
In the purely psychical sense, pleasure is seen generally as an independent feeling of happiness, while defined in mental terms is a sensation that causes one to try to achieve the sensation.
Pleasure may also be defined, at least in some contexts, as being the reduction or absence of pain. Epicurus and his followers defined pleasure as the absence of pain.
The 19th Century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer understood pleasure as a negative sensation, as it negates the usual existential condition, that of suffering.
Utilitarianism and New Hedonism philosophies both attempt to increase to the maximum the amount of pleasure and minimize the amount of pain.
The pleasure center
is the set of brain structures, predominantly the nucleus accumbens
, theorized to produce great pleasure when stimulated electrically. Some references state that the septum pellucidium
is generally considered to be the pleasure center while others mention the hypothalamus
when referring to pleasure center for intracranial stimulation.. Certain chemicals are known to stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain. These include dopamine
and various endorphins