Explaining the Paradox of Hedonism

  title={Explaining the Paradox of Hedonism},
  author={Alexander Dietz},
  journal={Australasian Journal of Philosophy},
  pages={497 - 510}
  • A. Dietz
  • Published 19 June 2018
  • Philosophy
  • Australasian Journal of Philosophy
ABSTRACT The paradox of hedonism is the idea that making pleasure the only thing that we desire for its own sake can be self-defeating. Why would this be true? In this paper, I survey two prominent explanations, then develop a third possible explanation, inspired by Joseph Butler's classic discussion of the paradox. The existing accounts claim that the paradox arises because we are systematically incompetent at predicting what will make us happy, or because the greatest pleasures for human… 
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