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Hedonism emphasized pleasure as the greatest good. "Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we might be dead."


Hellenistic Philosophy

Part 3

III. Hedonism

A. Cyrenaics

1. Pleasure is the greatest good.

2. Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we might be dead.

B. Epicureans

1. If pleasure is the greatest good, then pain is the greatest evil.

2. Pleasures differ only in quantity.

3. Pleasures differ in duration and intensity.

4. There is a distinction between pleasures of the body and pleasures of the mind.

C. Overindulgence in the pleasures of the body always produces pain.

D. Any enjoyment of physical pleasure presupposes pain.

E. Epicurus' Response

1. Live the simple life.

2. Everything in moderation.

F. Aristotle's Response

1. Pleasure is not the sum total of life, happiness is.

2. The single-minded pursuit of pleasure is always self-defeating.

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