Pleasure is not the highest good

The Confucian philosopher Mencius depicts Yangism as the direct opposite of Mohism, while Mohism promotes the idea of universal love and impartial caring, the Yangists acted only "for themselves," rejecting the altruism of Mohism.

So too is it, then, in the case of temperance and courage and the other virtues. Individuals can only rationally care Pleasure is not the highest good their own xing, and should not naively have to support the xing of other people, even if it means opposing the emperor.

His disciple Aristotle repeats the same idea in other words when he declares Ethics, I, i that Pleasure is not the highest good good is "that which all aim at". His materialism led him to a general stance against superstition or the idea of divine intervention. This is why Aristotle often talks in term of a practical syllogism, with a major premise that identifies some good to be achieved, and a minor premise that locates the good in some present-to-hand situation.

By contrast, pleasure, like seeing and many other activities, is not something that comes into existence through a developmental process. Why does he not address those who have serious doubts about the value of these traditional qualities, and who therefore have not yet decided to cultivate and embrace them?

But Aristotle gives pride of place to the appetite for pleasure as the passion that undermines reason. It tells the individual that the good of others has, in itself, no valid claim on him, but that he should serve other members of the community only to the extent that he can connect their interests to his own.

Though they differ somewhat in their several ways of formulating it, at bottom they all agree: This also, I saw, is from the hand of God Here he is influenced by an idea expressed in the opening line of the Ethics: Although it really is a pleasure and so something can be said in its favor, it is so inferior to other goods that ideally one ought to forego it.

The person who chooses to lead a political life, and who aims at the fullest expression of practical wisdom, has a standard for deciding what level of resources he needs: First, when a sick person experiences some degree of pleasure as he is being restored to health, the pleasure he is feeling is caused by the fact that he is no longer completely ill.

He does not have before his mind a quantitative question; he is trying to decide whether the accused committed the crime, and is not looking for some quantity of action intermediate between extremes.

But his discussion of happiness in Book X does not start from scratch; he builds on his thesis that pleasure cannot be our ultimate target, because what counts as pleasant must be judged by some standard other than pleasure itself, namely the judgment of the virtuous person. Nonetheless, it is a pleasure worth having—if one adds the qualification that it is only worth having in undesirable circumstances.

While therefore all pleasure because it is naturally akin to us is good, not all pleasure is should be chosen, just as all pain is an evil and yet not all pain is to be shunned. Hence the necessity of weighing the relative value of goods, of classifying them, and of ascertaining which of them must be procured even at the loss of others.

Hence in a system of elaborate synthetic philosophy Spencer discusses at great length the laws of life and those conditions of psychologie and social existence from which, as from a prearranged premise, he gathers "The Data of Ethics", or Ethics emancipated from the notion of divine legislation.

All the moral virtues deal with the human aspects of life, which are necessary but secondary to the divine activity of contemplation.

D Epicurus circa B. A defense of his position would have to show that the emotions that figure in his account of the virtues are valuable components of any well-lived human life, when they are experienced properly. This is, after all, the option that provides them with the most happiness.

Furthermore, Aristotle nowhere announces, in the remainder of Book VI, that we have achieved the greater degree of accuracy that he seems to be looking for. We can also compare these goods with other things that are desirable in themselves—pleasure, friendship, honor, and so on—and ask whether any of them is more desirable than the others.

But living well for a tree and living well for a man are different things, because they have different natures. Those who wish good things to their friends for the sake of the latter are friends most of all, because they do so because of their friends themselves, and not coincidentally.

It was one of the earliest Socratic schools. Pleasure is found in various forms of activity, and a proper pleasure or pain may belong to any activity.

Yangism Yangism has been described as a form of psychological and ethical egoism. If one lived in a community filled with good people, and cooperated on an occasional basis with each of them, in a spirit of good will and admiration, would that not provide sufficient scope for virtuous activity and a well-lived life?

For the end of all our actions is to be free from pain and fear, and, when once we have attained all this, the tempest of the soul is laid; seeing that the living creature has no need to go in search of something that is lacking, nor to look for anything else by which the good of the soul and of the body will be fulfilled.

Just because it is an activity, it involves relation to some external object. It is in depth, but may be difficult for beginners. We began our discussion of these qualities in section 4.

Aristotle's Ethics

So, maybe, they would all choose Option 1. If I am enjoying a conversation, for example, I do not need to wait until it is finished in order to feel pleased; I take pleasure in the activity all along the way.

Aristotle makes use of this claim when he proposes that in the ideal community each child should receive the same education, and that the responsibility for providing such an education should be taken out of the hands of private individuals and made a matter of common concern a21—7.

It is important to bear in mind that when Aristotle talks about impetuosity and weakness, he is discussing chronic conditions.It is also the idea that every person's pleasure should far surpass their amount of pain.

Ethical hedonism is said to have been started by Aristippus of Cyrene, a student of Socrates. He held the idea that pleasure is the highest good. Mar 03,  · By saying thhat pleasure is what everyone desires it can be declared the highest good.


It is not like “Joe likes candy” where you have an inductive fallacy but a case where a universal principle is derived from everything. In this passage from the Letter to Menoeceus, Epicurus ( – B.C.), summarizes two of his most famous ethical doctrines: that death should not be feared and that pleasure is the highest good.

However, pleasure for Epicurus is not the indulgence of fine foods, drinking beer, and sex.

Philosophy For Beginners

One ought to do the good, and the good is what is pleasurable. Ethical hedonism was based on Epicurus' s psychological hedonism. Pleasure for yourself is the highest good. they disagree with the utiltiarian view of maximizing the overall amount of pleasure in the world.

The Highest Good

This highest good must also fit into three criteria: it is desirable for itself, it is not desirable for the sake of some other good, and all other goods are desirable for its sake. Furthermore, Aristotle later includes that the highest good must be acted upon because if one does not act to achieve any aim then they will never achieve it.

Epicurus, Pleasure is the Highest Good > Epicurus was an ancient Greek philosopher as well as the founder of the school of philosophy called Epicureanism. Only a few fragments and letters of Epicurus's written works remain.

Pleasure is not the highest good
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