philosophy of pleasure as the highest value

Hedonism is the view that pleasure and suffering are the basis for what is good or bad.[1] It is a philosophical position that first appeared in ancient philosophy. "Hēdonē" is the ancient Greek word for "pleasure".[2] There are many different beliefs in hedonism. But in all forms of hedonism, people think that what makes them happy is good. They also think avoiding suffering is good.[1] Some people think pain is the opposite of pleasure, but others do not.[3] Some forms of hedonism say it is important to get as many pleasurable experiences as possible. Others say that the quality of the pleasure matters.

Epicurus was a main hedonist philosopher from ancient Greece

Hedonism is often wrongly said to be related to sex. Sex can be a very pleasurable experience, but when philosophers talk about hedonism, they think more about the pleasure of reading a good book, listening to classical music, or discussing with other philosophers.[4]

Two main types of hedonism are Cyrenaicism and Epicureanism. Cyrenaicism is where people make themselves happy in the fastest amount of time. Epicureanism is where people like to be happy but they do so slowly so that they cause less pain to themselves. They also look more into the future and go for the higher pleasures in life. On the other hand, Maslowism is the term for when you combine the concepts of utilitarianism and hedonism.[5]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Moore, Andrew (20 April 2004). "Hedonism". In Zalta, Edward N. (ed.). The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2019 ed.).
  2. "Hedonism". Encyclopædia Britannica. April 6, 2018.
  3. Nietzsche, Friedrich. Ecce Homo. The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche. Vol. 17. Translated by Ludovici, Anthony M.
  4. MacAskill, William (2021). "Hedonism – Utilitarian Glossary". Introduction to Utilitarianism: An Online Textbook. Retrieved 2021-05-08.
  5. Abramis, David J. "Play in work: childish hedonism or adult enthusiasm?." American Behavioral Scientist 33.3 (1990): 353-373.