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
First hedonist, student and friend of Socrates, founded the Cyrenaics School
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