PHL 204-07

Callicles: expansive view of happiness (p.64-65)

  • develop strong desires
  • satisfy those desires
  • lather, rinse, repeat
  • like the leaky jar

    Callicles’ definition of eudaimonia: pleasure (p.67, 494b)

  • how to achieve the goal of life (eu): expansive view
  • an account of the nature of the goal: hedonism
  • Hedonism

  • the only thing that is intrinsically good for a person is for that person to experience an episode of pleasure
  • the only thing that is intrinsically bad for a person is for that person to experience an episode of pain
  • We can evaluate how good a life is for a person by adding up the pleasures they experience and subtract the sum of the pains from pleasures

    if maximum pleasure is the goal, then the expansive view is not a good route to take (point never raised by Socrates)

    Intrinsic v. extrinsic pleasure

  • something is intrinsically valuable if it is valuable simply for what it is, and no just because of what it leads to
  • something is extrinsically valuable if it is valuable for what it leads to
  • Note: a hedonist can say that pain is valuable (extrinsically); leads to future pleasure

    must be able to distinguish between the pleasure and sources of pleasure

    pleasure = mental state, source of pleasure = what causes that mental state (individually variable)

    Socrates: adaptive conception of happiness
    rather than working on changing the world to match your desires, you should instead work on yourself to match the value in the world

    adaptive view leads to Eudaimonia (a well-ordered soul)

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