Bliss according to Epicurus

2 min read



The Greeks use the particular word "eudaimonia" to describe the bliss, because it is obvious that it is necessary to establish first what it is supposed to be. There were great disputes here, but we will limit ourselves here only to the term in Epicurus.

Epicurus equates the good life with the life of pleasure. We therefore also speak of hedonism, but not in the vulgar meaning that the word conveys today. Epicurus understands eudaimonia as a more or less continuous experience of individual pleasure and also freedom from pain and suffering. It is important to note, however, that Epicurus does not advocate the pursuit of every pleasure or a simple maximization of feelings of happiness.

Rather, he recommends a practice in which pleasures can be built up "in the long run," that is, a "good life" is achieved. For this, painful and unpleasant things can be accepted if they result in pleasure and happiness at a later time. One thinks as an example of the saving of money. Of course, I can buy a little something right away to set a positive stimulus, but it would certainly be better, according to Epicurus, to save up for something that will not be consumed immediately and rather mindlessly.

This also brings us back to promotional days and discounts. Do I buy the item because of the discount and time scarcity or because I really want the item. Am I evaluating the offer or the item? Does the price change the intensity of the joy when I receive the item?

According to Epicurus, it is not at all wrong to tie eudaimonia to material objects. Thus he contradicted the competing opinion that eudaimonia was ostensibly tied to virtue or a virtuous life. However, the reverse conclusion is not valid: we cannot say that vulgar consumerism in the sense of material hedonism (or unvirtuousness) leads to eudaimonia. A balancing must take place in each case, in the sense described, that the longevity of the positive experience is guaranteed. In our opinion, this is not the case when we indulge in action days, which, by the way, cause more stress not only to the buyers but also to the producers and retailers than the short-term pleasure would outweigh.

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