Hedonism is a philosophical movement that believes that pleasure is the most important pursuit of mankind. The term comes from the Greek “Hedone” – pleasure.
Aristippus is the founder of hedonism. He believed that there are only two states for a person, which are diametrically opposed in nature. It’s pleasure and pain.
The meaning of life in Aristippus was interpreted precisely as physical pleasure. He believed that the path to happiness lies in getting the most out of your life and avoiding unpleasant situations, that is, pain.
Then hedonists were popular in the 18th century, especially in France during the time of Louis XV. There, of course, the very idea of hedonism was perverted and they were engaged exclusively in their desires and behaved immorally. It was popular among the elite.
In the 18th-19th centuries, Bentham and Mill were in England. Their idea of utilitarianism is also about achieving pleasure, but within the framework of social attitudes. The focus shifts from personal pleasure to the happiness of all mankind.
The idea of hedonism today is not to stop there, to develop, to enjoy life, to travel, to follow non-standard paths, to create something interesting, to discover new things.
I want to note that hedonists should not be equated with alcoholics and drug addicts, because the hedonist will not support fleeting pleasure that destroys his personality. A real hedonist will strive for self-development, look for something new to enjoy in life.
And they should not be equated with egoists either. The hedonist, of course, thinks about himself, but I would call it moderate egoism. Let me remind you that from the point of view of psychology, people initially strive for the pleasure of their lives. This is an absolutely normal and healthy trait of any individual.
I believe that there is adequate and inadequate hedonism.
For me, an adequate hedonist is a person who knows himself and develops, he satisfies his desires without harming the people around him and the environment.
An inadequate hedonist, for the sake of his pleasure, is ready to neglect other people, laws and morality.
Well, I will end this text with an optimistic expression that can be heard in Italy: “May the saddest days of your future be like the happiest days of your past.”
What do you think, is it possible to live only for your own pleasure?