definition of hedonism

Hedonism is a school of thought which argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good. This is often used as a justification for evaluating actions in terms of how much pleasure and how little pain (i.e. suffering) they produce. In very simple terms, a hedonist strives to maximize this net pleasure (pleasure minus pain).

The name derives from the Greek word for “delight” (ἡδονισμός hēdonismos from ἡδονή hēdonē “pleasure”, a cognate of English sweet + suffix -ισμός -ismosism“).

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