NAIVE HEDONISM

Naive Hedonism: A New Perspective on Pleasure-Seeking

Hedonism is an ancient philosophical position that holds pleasure as the highest good and source of value. Though historically associated with a variety of different philosophical and ethical systems, modern “naive hedonism” is a form of psychological hedonism which holds that pleasure is the only intrinsic good and pain is the only intrinsic bad (Mill, 1871). This article will discuss the concept of naive hedonism and its implications for how we think about pleasure and ethical behavior.

Naive hedonism is based on the idea that people are inherently motivated to seek pleasure and avoid pain. This is evident in everyday activities and decisions. People choose to engage in activities that are enjoyable, such as playing sports or going to the movies, and avoid activities that are unpleasant, such as going to the dentist or doing chores. Similarly, people are more likely to take risks if there is a potential reward, such as a financial gain or a reward of pleasure, and are less likely to take risks if there is a potential consequence of pain or discomfort.

The implications of naive hedonism go beyond everyday activities and decisions. In terms of ethical behavior, naive hedonism suggests that people should make choices that maximize pleasure and minimize pain. This is consistent with some ethical theories, such as utilitarianism, which holds that the right action is the one that produces the most pleasure for the greatest number of people. However, naive hedonism also suggests that people should not consider the long-term consequences of their actions, which could be at odds with other ethical theories.

Naive hedonism also has implications for how we think about pleasure itself. According to naive hedonism, pleasure is the only intrinsic good and pain is the only intrinsic bad. This stands in contrast to other psychological theories, which suggest that there are other intrinsic goods, such as knowledge, friendship, and beauty. Naive hedonism suggests that these other goods are only valuable insofar as they lead to pleasure. This could have implications for how we think about our values and our lives.

In conclusion, naive hedonism is a form of psychological hedonism that holds that pleasure is the only intrinsic good and pain is the only intrinsic bad. This has implications for how we think about pleasure and ethical behavior, as well as how we think about our values and our lives. Though naive hedonism is not without its critics, it is a useful tool for understanding our motivations and how we can best achieve our goals.

References

Mill, J. S. (1871). Utilitarianism. London: Parker, Son, & Bourn.

Scroll to Top