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Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

ORIGINAL

Hedonism

6 minutes

Great news: pleasure is the purpose of life. Bad news: moderation is key

Should you feel bad about pursuing pleasure? Many philosophers say you should at least be circumspect about it. There was one, however, who saw maximising pleasure as the goal of life: Epicurus. Sam Dresser explains how the ancient Greek thinker can help you find the good in the pleasurable – though Epicurean hedonism is no sure way to overcome the pain of excess.

About I Hope This Helps
A wise man once said: ‘Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.’ Sam Dresser emphatically agrees. In Aeon’s first original web series, he uses arcane philosophical theories to help solve your personal problems. For more advice from Sam, take a look at our originals video channel.

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Essay/History of Ideas
The African Enlightenment

The highest ideals of Locke, Hume and Kant were first proposed more than a century earlier by an Ethiopian in a cave

Dag Herbjørnsrud

Essay/Ethics
The ethics of ET

The discovery of independent life beyond Earth would have deep philosophical implications for us, and our ideas of morality

Tim Mulgan