Epicureanism and Utilitarianism Discussion

NameInstructorCourseDateEpicureanism and UtilitarianismThe epicurean school of thought claims that people should target to maximize their pleasure which is the most crucial determinant of one’s well-being. The motto of the epicurean school suggests that the highest good is a pleasure. The foundations of epicurean thought emphasize the balance between pain and pleasure. Utilitarianism is a variant of consequentialism that focuses on the greatest good. In utilitarianism, the most ethical choice is the choice that will produce the greatest good for the most significant number. Utilitarian philosophers view the consequences of pleasure and pain that make human lives go well or ill as the determinant of the moral quality of action (Melchert 197). Epicureanism also adopts the view of pleasure as a measure of moral quality. Maximizing pleasure in epicureanism is similar to the utilitarian view of pleasure as the greater good. When a number of people adhere to epicureanism, they achieve greater pleasure akin to the greatest good, which is the objective of a utilitarian view (Melchert 196). When a majority follow epicureanism, where they target to experience pleasure, they achieve the greatest good for the more significant number. The epicurean perspective has pioneered some of the concepts of utilitarianism, such as the goal of the greatest good.One of the tenets of utilitarianism suggests that the morality of actions arises from the consequences. Utilitarianism encourages the view of the end justifying the means. For epicureans, usefulness determines virtue or morality. Virtue is helpful if it is a means to the epicurean’s end, which is pleasure. Therefore, from the Epicurean perspective, the ends of pleasure justify the means used.Similarly, in utilitarianism, an end reflecting the greatest good justifies the means used by an entity. Both philosophies receive criticism for emphasizing the ends rather than the means. The stoics criticize the epicureans, who they view as pleasure-loving and self-indulgent hedonists. Deontologists and adherents of other schools of thought criticize the utilitarian perspective for justifying other people’s use as a means to one’s selfish ends. Both schools of thought receive criticism for . The end targeted in utilitarianism and epicureanism encompasses the greatest good and pleasure. Both perspectives do not acknowledge the impact of the means to these ends (Melchert 200).Pain and pleasure encompass the underpinnings of epicureanism. Epicurus taught that pursuing pleasure and avoiding pain are the most realistic targets in a wise man’s life. The key principle of epicurean thought implies that people should target to maximize their pleasure by targeting to remove pain from one’s life. Therefore, the main objective of a wise man is to remove pain and maximize pleasure. The emphasis on pain and pleasure is also evident in utilitarian thought. Utilitarianism also highlights pain and pleasure. Utilitarian philosophers suggest that pain and pleasure should be the main criteria for assessing the moral quality of man’s actions (Melchert 201). Pain and pleasure are essential in utilitarianism because their balance determines an individual’s wellness or illness. Utilitarianism suggests pleasure for the greatest number and pain for the least. Epicureanism also suggests maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain. Pain and pleasure, as evidenced, form the bedrock of both the epicurean and the utilitarian schools of thought.
 
Work CitedMelchert, Norman. “The great conversation: A historical introduction to philosophy.” (1999).

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