Economics Dictionary of Arguments

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Hedonism: hedonism is interpreted in the tradition in two ways a) as the view that the only intrinsic good is the feeling of something pleasurable, or b) as the psychological thesis that pleasure is the only thing that individuals strive for. (J. Rawls, A Theory of Justice Original Edition Oxford 2005, p. 554).
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

John Stuart Mill on Hedonism - Dictionary of Arguments

Höffe I 351
Hedonism/Mill/Höffe: For Mill, as a follower of a qualified hedonism, the accumulation of wealth is not an end in itself. Against the lack of ability of his time to enjoy the accumulated wealth, he recommends that one should enjoy the present(1).
Höffe I 348
According to Bentham's provocative aphorism that, with the same quality of pleasure, an undemanding children's game is as good as poetry, the qualitative differences between the various occasions and types of pleasure expressly do not count.
Höffe I 349
Mill: Against this vulgarized hedonism, Mill argues with the pointed counter-thesis that it is better to be a discontented Socrates than a satisfied pig. He emphasizes the different ranks of the pleasures one can enjoy and at the same time the priority of scientific, artistic and humanitarian activities.
The core [of Mill's foundation of utilitarianism] is the expression "desirable", which has two meanings. In an empirical-psychological sense it means what people actually consider desirable, in a normative-ethical sense what they should evaluate.
Mill/Höffe: [One can interpret Mill in this way]: An ethics open to experience understands what is desirable in the sense of those enlightened people who know the various pleasures and prefer those which are higher-ranking in human terms. ((s)Cf. >Preference Utilitarianism).

1. J.St. Mill, Utilitarianism 1861

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Mill I
John St. Mill
A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive, London 1843
German Edition:
Von Namen, aus: A System of Logic, London 1843
Eigennamen, Ursula Wolf, Frankfurt/M. 1993

Mill II
J. St. Mill
Utilitarianism: 1st (First) Edition Oxford 1998

Höffe I
Otfried Höffe
Geschichte des politischen Denkens München 2016

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