The term hedonism refers to the philosophy that says that pleasure is humanity’s most important pursuit, and the only thing that is good for an individual. Hedonists do their best 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 find a way to increase pleasure and minimize pain.

What is hedonism?

It is a doctrine of philosophy that thinks that pleasure is the only end and objective that man should have in life, so he must live to be able to enjoy all the pleasures avoiding pain above all else .

From the psychological point of view, hedonism is the view that there is that humans are psychologically constructed to desire only pleasure , while the hedonism of ethics refers to the view that our moral obligation essential is potentiate the pleasure or happiness.

  • What is hedonism?
  • Etymology
  • features
  • Other types of hedonism
  • Representatives
  • Plays
  • Examples
  • Hedonism today

What is hedonism?

Hedonism consists of a set of moral theories mainly focused on believing and affirming that everything that man does is the way to achieve something else. The pleasure , however, is all that is wanted for himself.

It is associated with egoism and is based on the paradox of hedonism that is also called the paradox of pleasure and that indicates that pleasure and happiness are strange phenomena that 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 made up of two different parts: “hedone” which means pleasure and the suffix “isms” which can be defined as a quality or doctrine. The first example of hedonism was the philosophy of Cyrenaica , an early Socratic school founded by Aristippus of Cyrene in the 4th century BC. The Cyrenaics emphasized Socrates’ teachings that happiness is one of the ends of moral action and held that pleasure was the highest good, especially physical pleasure.


The main characteristics of hedonism are the following:

  • The main one is the constant search for pleasure and avoiding pain at all costs.
  • His ethical representative was Epicurean , who affirmed that having a life full of pleasure was the only way to achieve maximum happiness.
  • The only pleasure that exists is the one that does not cause any pain .
  • He has different types of pleasures that do not include only sexual gratification.
  • For hedonists, spiritual pleasure was first important than sensible pleasure.
  • They can always find time to enjoy and relax no matter what the rest of the world has to do.
  • Avoid pain or damage either directly or collaterally.
  • They are not limited to material pleasures nor does money represent any kind of obstacle to them.

Other types of hedonism

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

  • Psychological Hedonism : it is the best known and says that all people have an inclination towards behavior that he believes will lead to happiness , he thinks that behavior is accentuated by avoiding pain and approaching what is pleasant and pleasant.
  • Ethical Hedonism : consider the welfare and social utility and mention that you can find various sources of pleasure. He mentions that no matter what his education , character and possibilities , the hedonistic individual will try to experience different pleasures, but in the idea that only pleasure is a good in itself.
  • Christian Hedonism : it is used to show that people love God with all their heart and through this, they obtain a greater pleasure than the world can offer them. It is the search for God and to have a closer relationship with Him .
  • Rational Hedonism : mentions that the pursuit of pleasure must be directed by prudence . Epicurus was its main exponent and said that freedom was possible without chance and that without it, hedonism had no reason to exist.


The main representatives of hedonism were:

  • Aristippus : He was a Greek philosopher who is considered the founder of the hedonistic and Cyrenaic school that identified good with pleasure.
  • Epicurus : his philosophy had three parts: the Gnoseology or Canonical, which was in charge of the different criteria to be able to distinguish the true from the false; the physics , which studies nature; and Ethics , which was a combination of the two previous parts.
  • Lucretius : he was a Roman poet and philosopher and author of the didactic poem ” De rerum natura ” or “On the nature of things” which is considered the greatest work of Roman poetry, in which philosophy and Atomistic physics of Epicurus and the atomistic physics of Democritus .


The main works of hedonism are:

  • The Christian Hedonist Michel Onfray
  • Guisán Esperanza’s hedonistic manifesto
  • From Utopia to CI Hedonism , Jiwei
  • My wines, dishes, flowers and music chosen from Ciriaco Yáñez’s beginner hedonism manual .


  • Taking an expensive trip that will cause pleasure is a form of hedonism, as long as the expense does not affect the economy afterwards. Remember that hedonism always prevents future suffering.
  • Choose carefully the food you consume, paying attention to quality, flavor, textures, but also avoiding excess food that may cause later discomfort.
  • Exercising the body only with activities that produce pleasure and with the aim of avoiding later discomfort.

Hedonism today

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

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