Philosophy of Hedonism

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“Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain, and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do,” according to Jeremy Bentham. Was he right? Should we be pursuing the greatest-good-for-the-greatest number? How should we understand pleasure? What about Epicurus who defined happiness as tranquility more than pleasure? Or is pleasure entirely the wrong way to think about a good life?

Hedonistic philosophy proposes that maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain are ultimately important in living a good life. This might be true to some extent, but whether they're the *only* important elements is debatable. We'll be discussing whether you should feel guilty about pursuing pleasure and more at the next Skye & Massimo's Philosophy Cafe!

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Admission: $5 suggested donation, free for members of the Society for Ethical Culture. Learn more about our host organization, the New York Society for Ethical Culture, at

Image: The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch