[Hybrid Salon] Paul Bloom: Pain, Pleasure and the Key to a Good Life

  • 16/11/2022
  • 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Online & Full Circle House


  • Reduced rate for students, interns, unwaged.
  • Free: salon tickets included in annual IDEAS Pass fee.


A hybrid salon with Paul Bloom

(He'll be online but we'll be at the house)

 Ideas Wed 16 Nov / 6:30 - 8:30PM

Pre-eminent psychologist Paul Bloom claims that the conventional image of humans as purely pleasure-seeking and pain-avoiding isn’t so much wrong as incomplete. He explores the pleasure of suffering and drawing on groundbreaking findings from psychology to brain science, he explains why the activities that provide most satisfaction are often the ones that involve the greatest sacrifice, and how the right kind of suffering sets the stage for enhanced pleasure. 

With sharp insights, Bloom captures the strangeness of being human and makes a captivating case that pain and suffering are essential to both pleasure and meaning in our lives. Join the debate as he challenges us to rethink our vision of a good life.



Paul Bloom is a Canadian American psychologist. He is Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto and the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor Emeritus of psychology and cognitive science at Yale University. He explores some of the most puzzling aspects of human nature and his research is centres focused on how children and adults understand the physical and social world, with special focus on languagemoralityreligion, pleasure, fiction, and artBloom is the recipient of multiple awards and honours, including most recently the million-dollar Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize. He has published over a hundred scientific articles and his popular writing has appeared in The New York TimesThe New YorkerThe Atlantic MonthlySlateNatural History, and many other publications.


The Sweet Spot: The Pleasure of Suffering and the Search for Meaning (2021), Against Empathy. The case for rational compassion (2016), How Pleasure Works: The new science of why we like what we like (2010), Descartes’ Baby: How the science of child development explains what makes us human (2004).

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