Short Note on Ethical Hedonism

Ethical Hedonism holds that man desires many things apart from pleasure. We do not always seek pleasure. However pleasure is the proper object of desire. We ought to seek pleasure. Obviously the question arises, “whose pleasure?” The answer of this question leads to 2 forms of Ethical Hedonism viz. Egoistic Hedonism and universalistic Hedonism. Egoistic Hedonism strives after individual’s own pleasure. Universalistic Hedonism seeks general happiness and not individual pleasure. Universalistic Hedonism is also called as Utilitarianism.

Ethical Hedonism, [whether Egoistic or Universalistic] again has two varieties viz. gross and refined. Gross Hedonism gives weightage to the sensuous pleasures. All pleasures are alike and they differ only in intensity. Present pleasures are to be preferred over future pleasures. Refined Hedonism gives weightage to mental and more subtle, fine pleasures. Refined Hedonism accepts the role of reason in the attainment of pleasures.

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