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Lecture

Hedonism

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 120W
Professor
Sam Black
Semester
Fall

Description
rd October 3 , 2012 – Hedonism 1  Hedone = “pleasure”  Pleasure is the only real good thing in life. It is the only true intrinsic value; pain is the only real bad thing.  Ultimate life goal: maximize pleasure, minimize pain  Most hedonists accept all pleasures.  Epicurus neutralized physical pain by thinking of mental pain.  Institutions founded by philosophers: o The Garden – Epicurus o The Lyceum – Aristotle o The Academy – Plato o Cyrenaics School - Aristippus Aristippus  First hedonist, student and friend of Socrates, founded the Cyrenaics School  Preferential pleasures: o Physical pleasures – easier to acquire, more intense than mental pleasures o Short-term / present-moment pleasures – certain and accessible Epicurus (~50-60 years after Aristippus)  Second but most popular hedonist, first hedonist to have a formalized, written view of hedonism  Moved from Samos to Athens, bought land, and founded the “Garden” that was open to everyone, including women and slaves  The phrase Epicurean (i.e., Epicurean cuisine) means someone who’s a fine chef. o Hedonists are NOT about luxuries and fine cuisine, they appreciate the simpler pleasures in life.  Not every pleasure should be chosen. Be wise about long-term pleasures. He suggested looking at babies to see the simple life.  They pursue pleasure and have no corruption.  Pleasure is the beginning = baby  Pleasure is the end = old
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