The term hedonism refers to the philosophy that states that pleasure is humanity's most important quest, and the only thing that is good for an individual. Hedonists look for the maximum way to maximize their total pleasure and have less pain or suffering. They consider that pleasure is the only good that exists in life, and that pain is the only evil, and furthermore, that the goal of our life should only be to seek ways to increase pleasure and minimize pain.

What is hedonism?

It is a philosophical doctrine that thinks that pleasure is the only end and objective that man should have in life, so he should live to enjoy all pleasures avoiding above all things pain.

From the psychological point of view, hedonism is the existing view that humans are psychologically constructed to desire pleasure alone, while ethical hedonism refers to the view that our fundamental moral obligation is to potentiate pleasure or happiness.

About hedonism

Hedonism consists of a set of moral theories focused primarily on believing and asserting that all man does is the way to get something else. Pleasure, on the other hand, is the only thing that one seeks for oneself.

It is associated with selfishness and is founded on the paradox of hedonism which is also called the paradox of pleasure and which points out that pleasure and happiness are strange phenomena which do not obey normal principles, in the sense that they cannot be acquired directly, only indirectly, since we often do not get pleasures if we deliberately seek them.


The word etymology comes from the Greek and derives from the term “hedonisms“, a word that is formed by two differentiated parts: “hedone” which means pleasure and the suffix “isms” which can be defined as quality or doctrine. The first example of hedonism was the philosophy of Cyrenaica, an early Socratic school founded by Aristipus of Cyrene in the 4th century BC. The Cyrenaics emphasized the teachings of Socrates that happiness is one of the ends of moral action and held that pleasure was the supreme good, especially physical pleasure.


The main characteristics of hedonism are the following:

Other types of hedonism

There are different types of hedonism, among which we mention the following:


The main representatives of hedonism were:


The main works of hedonism are:


Hedonism today

Today we can say that hedonism is still practiced and that people like Epicurus left deep traces in history, because to this day people follow their ways to reach happiness. Today, a philosophical hedonism is proposed that goes through a modification of behavior. It seeks to achieve a real presence in the world, and joyfully enjoy existence: smell better, taste, listen better, avoid anger, be in health with the body and consider passions, who are friends and who are not.

Written by Gabriela Briceño V.

How to cite this article?

Briceño V., Gabriela. (2019). Hedonism. Recovered on 23 February, 2024, de Euston96:

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