Happiness And Feminism: The Ethical Theory Of Hedonism

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Hedonism, the word, is derived from the ancient Greek word ‘hēdonē’ meaning pleasure. This ethical theory states how pleasure (in terms of a persons satisfaction and desires) is what all humans aspire to, as it is in their opinion the highest good in life. Hedonists believe that we are only motivated by pleasure or pain as humans. Now the idea of pleasure is a pretty broad concept. Pleasure can be seen as delight, a pleasant feeling, ecstasy, contentment, elation, exhilaration, love, gratification, joy, satisfaction and many other things, as pleasure is different to each person. Similarly with the idea of pain, it has a large spectrum of emotions that could be defined as pain; such as angst, despair, annoyance, dejection, depression, dread, loathing, hatred,…show more content…
The desire theory states that happiness is a result of getting what you want, and what each person wants in life is subjective to who that person is and what they desire and hold important in life. Hedonism states that pleasure over pain is how one achieves happiness even if the acquired pleasure doesn’t not stem from what one desires most. Now desire theory on the other hand maintains that the fulfillment of a persons desires are what contributes to ones happiness regardless of how much pleasure (or even displeasure) is acquired. If we look at the Austrian-British philosopher Wittgenstein, we see how what he desired in life was illumination and truth over pleasure. Now according to the desire theory, Wittgenstein’s life was fantastic due to him achieving more illumination and truth about life than most people do even thou this caused him to experience more pain and less pleasure than the average person. The main objection to the desire theory is that a person could for example; aspire to only collect trivial things such as fine china. While this may be incredibly satisfying for them, it does not seem to be a very meaningful use of ones

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