Authored by: Alex Gregory

The Routledge Handbook Of Philosophy Of Well-Being

Print publication date:  August  2015
Online publication date:  July  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415714532
eBook ISBN: 9781315682266
Adobe ISBN: 9781317402657


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Roughly, hedonism is the view that well-being wholly depends on how you feel. Slightly more precisely, it says that all and only positive experiences are good for you, and that all and only negative experiences are bad for you. Hedonism has seemed like an attractive theory to many people, but crude to others. Without doubt, it is one of the most influential theories of well-being. Historical defenders have included Epicurus, Mill (1863, especially Chapter 2), and Bentham (1789, especially Chapters 1 and 4). In this entry, I shall first briefly survey some arguments for hedonism, and then distinguish some different formulations of it. But the majority of the entry focuses on objections to the view.

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