Practically speaking ancient hedonism advocated the happiness of the individual: the modern hedonism of Hume, Bentham and Mill is based on a wider conception of life.
On the other hand attempts have been made to separate hedonism, as the search for a continuous series of physical pleasures, from eudaemonism, a condition of enduring mental satisfaction.
The earliest and the most extreme type of hedonism is that of the Cyrenaic School as stated by Aristippus, who argued that the only good for man is the sentient pleasure of the moment.
It was clear that if philosophic hedonism was to be established on a broad and firm basis, it must in its notion of good combine what the plain man naturally sought with what philosophy could plausibly offer.
816 Hedonism (Epicurus) 818 Later Greek and Roman Ethics 818 Neoplatonism .
This characteristic, however, is the key to the chief differences between Epicureanism and the more naïve hedonism of Aristippus.
It would be quite possible to accept his criticisms of naturalism and hedonism while rejecting many of the metaphysical inferences which he draws.
This relation to a "good" must not, however, be construed as a doctrine of ethics in the narrower sense; nor is its "utilitarianism" to be confused with the hedonism of the British associationists.
Pleasure is strictly nothing more than the state of being pleased, and hedonism the theory that man's chief good consists in acting in such a way as to bring about a continuous succession of such states.
This extreme or "pure" hedonism regarded as a definite philosophic theory practically died with the Cyrenaics, though the same spirit has frequently found expression in ancient and modern, especially poetical, literature.
The confusion already alluded to between "pure" and "rational" hedonism is nowhere more clearly exemplified than in the misconceptions which have arisen as to the doctrine of the Epicureans.
Thus we pass from Egoistic to Universalistic hedonism, Utilitarianism, Social Ethics, more especially in relation to the still broader theories of evolution.
The moral philosophy of Epicurus is a qualified hedonism, the heir of the Cyrenaic doctrine that pleasure is the good thing in life.
This hedonism has perplexed Plato's readers needlessly (as we have said in speaking of the Cyrenaics), inasmuch as hedonism is the most obvious corollary of the Socratic doctrine that the different common notions of good - the beautiful, the pleasant and the useful - were to be somehow interpreted by each other.
Nor, finally, does Aristotle's account of the relation of pleasure to human well-being (although he has to combat the extreme anti-hedonism to which the Platonic school under Speusippus had been led) differ materially from the outcome of Plato's thought on this point, as the later dialogues present it to us.
So again, in the stress that he lays on the misery which the most secret wrong-doing must necessarily cause from the perpetual fear of discovery, and in his exuberant exaltation of the value of disinterested friendship, he shows a sincere, though not completely successful, effort to avoid the offence that consistent egoistic hedonism is apt to give to ordinary human feeling.
Similarly the conception of the self as a moral unity arises`naturally out of the impossibility of finding the summum bonum in a succession of transient states of consciousness such as hedonism for example postulates.
This hedonism, however, is not confined to the self (egoistic), but involves a due regard to the pleasure of others, and is, therefore, distinguished further as universalistic. Lastly, Sidgwick returns to the principle that no man should act so as to destroy his own happiness, and leaves us with a somewhat unsatisfactory dualism.
See Hedonism, EPICUxus; histories of philosophy by Zeller, Windelband, tUeberweg; H.
Among modern writers, James Seth (Ethical Princ., 1894) resumes Aristotle's position, and places Eudaemonism as the mean between the Ethics of Sensibility (hedonism) and the Ethics of Rationality, each of which overlooks the complex character of human life.
There is a marked disposition on the part of critics of hedonism to confuse "pleasure" with animal pleasure or "passion," - in other words, with a pleasure phenomenon in which the predominant feature is entire lack of self-control, whereas the word "pleasure" has strictly no such connotation.
The value of the term Eudaemonism as an antithesis to Hedonism is thus very questionable.
Moreover, hedonism has, especially by its critics, been very much misrepresented owing mainly to two simple misconceptions.
In more recent times the controversy has been concerned either with the attempted proof of determinism by the advocates of psychological Hedonism, an attempt which at the present time is generally admitted to have failed; or with the new biological knowledge concerning the influence of heredity and environment in its bearing upon the development of character and the possibility of freedom.
He gave up the psychological hedonism of Mill, and adopted instead a position which may be described as ethical hedonism, according to which the criterion of goodness in any given action is that it produces the greatest possible amount of pleasure.
Butler is opposing the psychological hedonism 2 of Hobbes.