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Hedonism

Designation (grch. Freude, Vergnügen, Lust, Genuss, sinnliche Begierdes) for the doctrine founded in antiquity by the philosopher Aristippos (435-355 BC), according to which the highest ethical principle is the striving for sensual pleasure and enjoyment. The philosopher Epicurus (341-271 B.C.), on the other hand, describes pleasure as the principle of successful life. According to him, ataraxia (state of complete freedom from pain/anxiety) is also to be regarded as the highest lust. In common parlance, hedonism is understood as a selfish attitude to life oriented (only) on material pleasures. In this sense the term is often used pejoratively and interpreted as a sign of decadence. Epicurean, however, it is mostly understood as positive (altruistic). The Greek poet Anacreon (~580-495 B.C.) in his songs about love, wine and cheerful conviviality, as well as the Roman poet Horace (65-8 B.C.) with the motto "Carpe diem" (enjoy/use the day), also represent hedonistic tendencies

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