What is hedonism? HedonismJune 28, 2021
Hedonism is a philosophical movement developed by Greek thinkers Aristippos and Epicurus. Hedonism is the doctrine that the supreme good is pleasure. The concept of “hedone” means pleasure and pleasure in ancient Greek. In this context, hedonism is translated into Turkish as hedonism.
Aristippos, one of the founders of hedonism, emphasizes the importance of bodily pleasure. The other founder, Epicurus, argues that emotional pleasure is also important.
According to this approach, the purpose of moral actions is pleasure. Happiness is happiness. An action is a right and good action if it is an action that brings pleasure. Man, by nature, is a being who avoids pain and turns to pleasure. Therefore, the goal of our behavior should be pleasure.
WHAT IS HEDONISM?
Hedonism is based on the idea that “the most important value of life is to enjoy and enjoy and the ideal life can only be achieved in this way”. Because in hedonism, the ideas that pleasure is absolutely good, that human actions should be planned in a way that will provide pleasure in the final sense, and that it is the most appropriate behavior to always turn to the one who gives pleasure are dominant.
Hedonists constantly seek pleasure and pleasure and believe that this is the most correct way of living. They argue that a person should experience instant desire, pleasure and pleasure without caring about other people. They even think that even “knowledge” consists of emotions experienced in the “moment”.
Common features frequently seen in hedonists; It can be summarized as selfishness, self-love, using others for their own interests, and being closed to criticism.
Reading a book is also an element of pleasure.
Aristippus’ Understanding of Hedonism
According to Aristippus, the reason for every behavior is the desire to be happy. The necessity of life is pleasure. Pleasure is the emotion that makes people human. Our knowledge is as much as we can get with our emotions, it does not go beyond that. Therefore, Aristippos advises to turn to the pleasure brought by our emotions and to avoid pain.
According to Aristippos of Cyrene, one of Socrates’ students, the highest goodness is pleasure. Socrates taught that happiness can be achieved by turning to the good and realizing it. He also called the behaviors that lead to good and realize it virtue.
Socratic schools, as developers of this doctrine, sought an answer to the question of what is good. Hedonism, also known as the Cyrenean School because of the Cyrenean origin of Aristippus and his followers, is one of the answers to this question. According to this teaching, good means pleasure; Everything that gives pleasure is good, and everything that gives pain is bad.
The understanding of hedonism explains the true purpose of Aristippos by clearing the doctrine of Aristippos from Cyrene from the influence of Socrates: The wise is a person who can use all his knowledge to obtain pleasure.
Pleasure is the greatest good, pain is the greatest evil. The aim of man should be to turn to pleasure at all times and continuously. For this reason, hedonism is used today in the sense of wanting all kinds of pleasure and avoiding all kinds of pain by interpreting the main purpose of Aristippus.
Aristippos advises to turn to the pleasure brought by our emotions and to escape from the pain.
Epicurus’ Understanding of Hedonism
Epicurus is also one of the philosophers who maintain hedonism. However, Epicurus prefers spiritual pleasure over Aristippus’ bodily pleasure. The greatest pleasure for him is peace of mind. And this is achieved not by pursuing bodily pleasures, but by wisdom. According to him, the highest good is pleasure. But true pleasure is constant. Permanent pleasure can also be attained through wisdom.
Epicurus does not see pleasure as momentary sensuous desire; it emphasizes more refined, secure forms of well-being and happiness, such as friendship and literary enthusiasm. If we are to assure and preserve our personal happiness, we must pursue more subtle and refined pleasures such as these.
For the Cyrenean School, pain (pain) and pleasure (pleasure) were generally counted as impulses that lead living things to good and bad, with a crude moral understanding. Epicurean and utilitarian teachings are also hedonistic teachings in this sense. However, Epicurus prefers spiritual pleasure over Aristippus’ bodily pleasure. The greatest pleasure for him is peace of mind. And this is achieved not by pursuing bodily pleasures, but by wisdom.
The Difference of Aristippus and Epicurus’ Concepts of Hedonism
Aristippus, the founder of the Kyrene School, is also considered the founder of hedonism. According to Aristippus, what gives pleasure is good, what gives pain is bad, and good is the same thing as pleasure. One should try to enjoy everything, and want to find the good, the source of joy in every living situation. However, it is a momentary sense of pleasure that Aristippus considers.
This teaching is also seen in Epicurus in a more spiritual form. According to him, the only good is pleasure, “Pleasure should be the goal of all our actions”. However, Epicurus finds the basis of happiness in the serenity of the soul, sees spiritual pleasures above sensory pleasures and puts it as the highest goal; because only spiritual pleasures are pleasures that do not come and go, they provide a permanent state of mind.
British Pragmatism’s Understanding of Hedonism
According to English utilitarianism, animals and humans turn to what they like and avoid pain. spe