Pleasure - Philosophical Views

Philosophical Views

Part of a series on
Thinkers Jeremy Bentham · Julien Offray de La Mettrie · Aristippus of Cyrene · Epicurus · Theodorus the Atheist · Michel Onfray · Aristippus the Younger · Hermarchus · Lucretius · Pierre Gassendi · Metrodorus of Lampsacus · Zeno of Sidon · Yang Zhu
Schools of hedonism Cārvāka · Cyrenaics · Epicureanism
Christian hedonism · Utilitarianism · Abolitionism · Yangism
Key concepts Aponia · Ataraxia · Eudaimonia · Happiness · Hedone · Pain · Pleasure · Sensation · Suffering · Tetrapharmakos

Epicurus and his followers defined the highest pleasure as the absence of suffering and pleasure itself as "freedom from pain in the body and freedom from turmoil in the soul". According to Cicero (or rather his character Torquatus) Epicurus also believed that pleasure was the chief good and pain the chief evil.

In the 12th century Razi's "Treatise of the Self and the Spirit" (Kitab al Nafs Wa’l Ruh) analyzed different types of pleasure, sensuous and intellectual, and explained their relations with one another. He concludes that human needs and desires are endless, and "their satisfaction is by definition impossible."

The 19th-century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer understood pleasure as a negative sensation, one that negates the usual existential condition of suffering.

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