Hedonism: Morality and Q. no. Essay

2387 Words Nov 4th, 2009 10 Pages
Answer to Q. No. 1

Hedonism (Greek: hēdonē (ᾑδονή from Ancient Greek) "pleasure" +–ism) is a philosophical position that takes the pursuit of pleasure as the primary motivating element of life, based upon a view that "pleasure is good" i.e. pleasure has an ultimate importance and is the most important pursuit of humanity. The concept of pleasure is, however, understood and approached in a variety of ways, and hedonism is classified accordingly.

The three basic types of philosophical hedonism are psychological hedonism, which holds that the tendency to seek pleasure and avoid pain is an essential attribute of human nature; evaluative or ethical hedonism, which sets up certain ethical or moral ends as desirable because attaining them
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Agent-neutrality = whether some consequences are better than others does not depend on whether the consequences are evaluated from the perspective of the agent (as opposed to an observer).

The principle of utility is supposed to be used as a decision procedure or guide, that is, as a method that agents consciously apply to acts in advance to help them make choices. However, most classic and contemporary utilitarians and consequential lists do not propose their principles as decision procedures. (Bales 1971) Bentham wrote, “It is not to be expected that this process [his hedonic calculus] should be strictly pursued previously to every moral judgment.”

Classic utilitarianism is epistemological. Classic utilitarianism seems to require that agents calculate all consequences of each act for every person for all time. That's impossible. With the change of the circumstances, a decision made after carefully evaluating all possible alternatives, might appear morally wrong. Further, what might be a right for a person may be adverse against others. Eg. If a person thinks that he should kill his starving children to save them from the agonies of being poor and not feed properly. But, this principle might appear wrong for common society.

In the light of the above, it can be briefed up that even Advocates of

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