Epicurus’ hedonism holds the secret to a happier life — Quartz

Expectation of pleasure including relief from pain is not the sole motivational force in human nature, it is said, and human good involves myriad things other than pleasure. No rational and moral person would be happy, for example, if his life consisted solely of a stream of supreme pleasures guaranteed by artificial means. But, as already discussed, the classical hedonism of Mill, Bain, and others does not deny that many things are means to pleasure which can also become valued as ends-in-themselves, in which case they are seen as concrete ingredients of happiness. It insists that some kinds of pleasures are embodied in material objects and human qualities, and can only be experienced by people who possess those objects and qualities, which must first be produced.

Hedonism started out as a philosophical system which holds that people are motivated primarily by the production of pleasure and happiness as well as avoidance of pain. Thus a person believing in such a lifestyle chooses actions that would accord him/her the maximum pleasure. While the classical proponents of Hedonism like Aristipus and Epicurus accorded a higher value to mental, artistic and social pleasures, over time, Hedonism came to be associated with physical and sexual gratification. Like Bentham, Mill endorsed the varieties of hedonism now referred to as Prudential Hedonism, Hedonistic Utilitarianism, and Motivational Hedonism.

Since Mill’s theory of Prudential Hedonism focuses on the quality of the pleasure, rather than the amount of it, it is best described as a type of Qualitative Hedonism. It follows that past and future pleasure have no real existence for us, and that among present pleasures there is no distinction of kind. Socrates had spoken of the higher pleasures of the intellect; the Cyrenaics denied the validity of this distinction and said that bodily pleasures, being more simple and more intense, were preferable. However some actions which give immediate pleasure can create more than their equivalent of pain. The wise person should be in control of pleasures rather than be enslaved to them, otherwise pain will result, and this requires judgement to evaluate the different pleasures of life.

The popular view of hedonism

Lower pleasures are those associated with the body, which we share with other animals, such as pleasure from quenching thirst or having sex. Higher pleasures are those associated with the mind, which were thought to be unique to humans, such as pleasure from listening to opera, acting virtuously, and philosophising. Mill justified this distinction by arguing that those who have experienced both types of pleasure realise that higher pleasures are much more valuable. He dismissed challenges to this claim by asserting that those who disagreed lacked either the experience of higher pleasures or the capacity for such experiences. For Mill, higher pleasures were not different from lower pleasures by mere degree; they were different in kind.

As crazy as it may sound, some people do not enjoy spending hours at parties being blasted by music and drinking. The kind of life that you have proposed would make them unhappy if anything, and if they spent huge amounts of time living in your “hedonistic” style, they would likely regret a lot of it. These people may obtain as much utility as “hedonists”, just in other ways, and they may find a calculated, controlled type of life more fulfilling.

Hedonism is a sub-philosophy ofutilitarianism, which says to act in a way that maximizes utility. In fact, the founder of modern Utilitarianism, Jeremy Bentham also created the Hedonic Calculus. Hedonists equate pleasure with utility and believe that pleasure is the master of all humankind, and acts as the ultimate life goal.

Regard should be paid to law and custom, because even though these things have no intrinsic value on their own, violating them will lead to unpleasant penalties being imposed by others. Likewise, friendship and justice are useful because of the pleasure they provide. Thus the Cyrenaics believed in the hedonistic value of social obligation and altruistic behaviour. You state that living a “hedonistic” life (full of parties etc) leads to a better quality of the life itself, which implies that hedonistic lifestyle automatically generates happiness.

Particularly intense intellectual and moral pleasures can only be experienced by agents who possess the relevant intellectual and moral capacities, for example, and those capacities must be developed in part by the agents themselves. Moral hedonism has been attacked since Socrates, though moralists sometimes have gone to the extreme of holding that humans never have a duty to bring about pleasure. It may seem odd to say that a human has a duty to pursue pleasure, but the pleasures of others certainly seem to count among the factors relevant in making a moral decision. One particular criticism which may be added to those usually urged against hedonists is that whereas they claim to simplify ethical problems by introducing a single standard, namely pleasure, in fact they have a double standard.

Hedonists believe that there are only two motivators of human action, pleasure and pain, and that decisions should only be made to further our pleasurable experiences and minimize or completely eliminate our painful ones. is typically dismissed as crude and naive, however, both as a psychology and as a theory of welfare.

hedonism lifestyle

However some of the mainstream dating sites have rules against explicit content so you may need to proceed with caution as your upload your profile and photos. Apart from dating sites, you can also check out blogs and internet groups made up of people who are avid followers of the hedonistic lifestyle. Alternately you can look for such groups or even form them through your social networking site. The more like-minded people you get to know, the higher are your chances of finding a likable single among them.

Dating and Relationships

Mill also thought happiness, defined as pleasure and the avoidance of pain, was the highest good. Where Mill’s hedonism differs from Bentham’s is in his understanding of the nature of pleasure. Mill argued that pleasures could vary in quality, being either higher or lower pleasures. Mill employed the distinction between higher and lower pleasures in an attempt to avoid the criticism that his hedonism was just another philosophy of swine.