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The pleasures of tranquillity

Voorhoeve, Alex (2022) The pleasures of tranquillity. Homo Oeconomicus. ISSN 0943-0180

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s41412-021-00115-2


Epicurus posited that the best life involves the greatest pleasures. He also held that it involves attaining tranquillity. Many commentators, including Ken Binmore, have expressed scepticism that these two claims are compatible. For, they argue, Epicurus’ tranquil life is so austere that it is hard to see how it could be maximally pleasurable. Here, I offer an Epicurean account of the pleasures of tranquillity. I also consider different ways of valuing lives from a hedonistic point of view. Benthamite hedonists value lives by the sum of pleasures minus the sum of pains, weighted by intensity and duration. Meanwhile, Binmore proposes that Epicurus valued lives by their worst episode. In contrast, I outline an Epicurean argument for why the best life is one in which a person attains tranquillity and tastes its pleasures until death.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
JEL classification: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I31 - General Welfare; Basic Needs; Living Standards; Quality of Life; Happiness
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2022 14:30
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2022 10:09

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