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Hedonistic Principle

Face with life’s everydayness is also the chance of death. How much is left in one’s life is something that no one could accurately predict or foretell. It is a mystery that everyone is afraid and yet, as Freud hadmentioned in his concept of Thanatos, it is something that everyone is craving for. It is in death that one would find peace. In a phenomenological sense, it is in death that one could be whole or the only time that one’s being would be complete. Death is something that is inevitable. Everyone must acknowledge the fact that anytime one may die.

Several approaches to death are made through different philosophies and religions. A famous argument or approach in early Greek period was presented through the hedonistic principle of “Eat, drink and be merry, (even to excess,) for tomorrow you may die”. The first thing that could be extracted from this statement was the affirmation that anytime death may occur, nobody has the power to prevent it from happening. Since one could not be certain when death would strike, the approach seems to be the best way to live a life. You do everything you want without limitation to enjoy the life you have for it may end anytime.

In a deeper analysis, the statement depicts that the bodily pleasure should always be satisfied since life on earth is limited. The statement seemed to assume that future is dark and must not be anticipated. Aristotle believed that person should strive to live in accordance to nature. A person should not live his life for a day. A person should not anticipate date or fear death but accept it as a part of nature. In line with this, Aristotle provides three natures of man, the first being the physical nature. It is an attribute the things on earth posses, it is the actual means of existence.

The next is the emotional nature which is an attrbute that humans shared with animals. The third is the rational nature which is a part of man that he solely posses. With this respect, Aristotle claims that humans must strive to pursue their rational nature. Aristotle advised the use of moderation as something that should guide a person’s life. With moderation a person could be able to attain happiness which is the final goal in life. To be able to achieve happiness, a preson needs to be aware of his personal nature and talents. With a philosophy like that of Aristotle, I believe that he would not advocate the hedonistic principle.

The principle espouses overindulgence with the things that satisfy the bodily craving. Aristotle might view the act as somewhat animalistic rather than rational. Aristotle would not favor immediate gratification over long term happiness. Epictetus on the other hand values contentment and serenity. Thus he promotes the concepts of inner peace and the “unconqurable will”. Epictetus principle lies on the belief that if a person let other things to disturb him, he is a weak person. Epictetus view death as a natural thing, since like other things, man is bound to die.

Man should be able to accept this fact and view it as a return to the holy being and not a loss. Epictetus might respond to the hedonistic principle in the same manner that Aristotle did, he would reject it. I beliveve this is so since Epictetus does not see death as something that limits human’s life. He also believes that one should be content on what one posess. Personally my respond to the hedonistic principle would be based on the way tht I lived my life. I believe that everything exist for a purpose. I also accept the Aristotelian view regarding moderation and happiness as the greatest good.

I also agrees with Epictetus regarding his view about death. But, the point lmade in the hedonistic principle remains clear, people have immediate gratifications and death may come anytime. Whatever my purpose might be, I believed that it could only be fulfilled if I live my life the way that I want it. I believe that regrets are destructive in my personal growth and morale.

Works Cited

Seddon, K. H. Epictetus. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2006. Retrieved on December 17, 2007. Retrieved from the World Wide Web: http://www. iep. utm. edu/e/epictetu. htm#SH4g Sommers, C. H. Vice And Virtue In Everyday Life. Thomas/Wadsworth. 2006.

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