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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Hedonism \Hed"on*ism\, n.

  1. The doctrine of the Hedonic sect; the pursuit of pleasure as a matter of ethical principle. [WordNet sense 1]

  2. The ethical theory which finds the explanation and authority of duty in its tendency to give pleasure.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1856, from Greek hedone (see hedonist) + -ism.


n. 1 (context ethics English) The belief that pleasure or happiness is the highest good in life. Some hedonists, such as the epicureans, have insisted that pleasure of the entire mind, not just pleasure of the senses, is the highest good. 2 A general devotion to the pursuit of pleasure.

  1. n. the pursuit of pleasure as a matter of ethical principle

  2. an ethical system that evaluates the pursuit of pleasure as the highest good


Hedonism is a school of thought that argues that pleasure is the primary or most important intrinsic good. A hedonist strives to maximize net pleasure (pleasure minus pain).

Ethical hedonism is the idea that all people have the right to do everything in their power to achieve the greatest amount of pleasure possible to them. It is also the idea that every person's pleasure should far surpass their amount of pain. Ethical hedonism is said to have been started by Aristippus of Cyrene, a student of Socrates. He held the idea that pleasure is the highest good.

Hedonism (Just Because You Feel Good)

"Hedonism (Just Because You Feel Good)" is a song by British group Skunk Anansie. It was released in January 1997 as a single from their second album, Stoosh. The song reached #14 in the UK singles chart. It also proved to be a top 20 hit in several countries such as France, Sweden and Austria and a top 10 hit in other countries such as Norway and The Netherlands and a #2 hit in Switzerland. It is regarded as one of Skunk Anansie's most known singles and was a popular choice at concerts. Skin performs a version of the song at many of her solo gigs, and US R&B group Groove Theory covered the song for their second album, The Answer.

Hedonism (disambiguation)

Hedonism is a term most often used to describe the philosophy that pleasure is the most important pursuit of humanity. Other uses include:

  • Christian hedonism, a controversial Christian doctrine
  • The paradox of hedonism, the idea that pleasure does not obey normal principles
  • Hedonistic relevance, an observer's tendency to attribute a behavior to a person's disposition
  • hedonic psychology, also known as happiness economics
  • Hedonism Resorts, vacation resorts in Jamaica
  • Hedonism (single), a single by Skunk Anansie
  • Hedonism (album), an album by Bellowhead
  • " Hedonism (Just Because You Feel Good)", a song by Skunk Anansie
  • Hedonismbot, a minor character in Futurama
  • Hedonic regression, a method of estimating demand or value, used notably when calculating the Consumer price index
Hedonism (album)

Hedonism is the third album by Bellowhead, released on 4 October 2010. It was recorded in Abbey Road Studios and was produced by John Leckie. The band also developed a new ale named after the album. Some of the band members took part in the brewing process.

The album sold 60,000 copies, becoming the best-selling independent folk LP of all time.

Usage examples of "hedonism".

It goes without saying, of course, that the asceticism of the one and the hedonism of the other are at many points interchangeable.

I call them a sublime super-development of hedonism upon a thoroughly unsalubrious soil.

At times, Ranunculus wondered if it might not be better to stroll through life as one of his mortal charges, oblivious to all but his own hedonism while entwined in a web of self-importance.

She was at breakpoint with her most recent beau, bored with his rugby, his healthy hedonism, the smooth self-assured way he embraced her in bed.

I simply do not subscribe to the hypocrisy of sitting in a church surrounded by an overprivileged Society that sings alleluias on Sunday and practices hedonism the rest of the week.

While they may have been forced by their own common sense to abandon their initial simpleminded hedonism, they are not out of the woods.

This is particularly frustrating because your sole duty is to serve thousands of ugly urbanites hell-bent on holiday hedonism.

Other dittos, meant for hedonism, sacrifice some élan vital for hyperactive pleasure cells and high-fi memory inloading.

It was as though the rebels had managed to kill the spirit of hedonism and turn the Wospan into a drearier, more furtive place.

Ethical Hedonism recognised that one had to enjoy oneself where one got the chance these days, but that rather than immerse oneself totally in such diversions, one ought always to behave in a reasonable and reasonably responsible manner, never losing sight of the more general moral issues and their manifestations in society.

Hedonism was the commonest of philosophies in the civilized galaxy, but it was piquant to hear a playwoman trotting out its mouldy cliches with such fierce solemnity.