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aesthetic vs. hedonistic

hedonism - as defined by the OED:
aesthetic - as defined by the OED

The etymology, clearly, shows the connection between these two words - and, to an extent, the modern application of them. The question, which was brought up in a previous post by bruteforcemethd, is the following:

Which of these two "philosophies" is closer to hitting the mark of the "meaning of life" insofar as living it to the fullest is concerned?

Clearly, one needs to have a desire to pursue beauty or sensual pleasure to create it - but should that pursuit be for the sake of the creation and its process alone, or the selfish desire to attain that creation or process for ones-self?

How does your answer to this question relate to your own personal moral code, especially in regards to how you prioritize your goals in life?

I have written a great many of my best things, then deleted them shortly thereafter. Why I continue to do this is not totally clear to me, but I do. I guess that puts me more in the aesthetic camp my action, but, in thinking, I would love to be able to make a living off my writing, or a creative process similar to it.

Response to this post, obviously, is not compulsory, but I guarantee it will get more interesting the more people who throw their hats into the ring.


Nov. 10th, 2003 08:37 pm (UTC)
how embarassing..
sorry guys - my post was not comparing hedonism to _aesthetics_, but rather:
ascetic - 1) practicing strict self-denial as a measure of personal and especially spiritual dicipline 2) austere in appearance, manner, or attitude.

I don't think what I said makes much sense if you read it "aesthetics"...

start again =]
Nov. 10th, 2003 08:51 pm (UTC)
Re: how embarassing..
see? spelling *does* matter. =]
Nov. 10th, 2003 09:14 pm (UTC)
Re: how embarassing..
hey wiseapple, I did spell it right.

I usually don't spell whole other words - just substitute definitionally insignificant vowels...
Nov. 11th, 2003 05:38 am (UTC)
great scott
yeah, i fucked up - thats what i get for not cutting and pasting...round three later today.

i definitely get the tool-move of the week award for that one though, and it is only tuesday, so i better watch my bananna heels!
Nov. 11th, 2003 05:52 am (UTC)
Re: how embarassing..
ahh – a whole new discussion. Most of us live our lives somewhere in the middle of these two. As I said before, most human beings need to spend at least some of their time on this earth doing things simply to survive but have time to indulge in some pleasures. If a person truly gets to the point where the seeking of pleasure outweighs all else it would seem to me that his life has deteriorated into something useful only to himself with nothing (at least nothing that is not accidental) that is useful to society either on the larger scale or on the smaller scale.

On the other hand, one who lives a truly ascetic life also may be of some benefit to society or may not be depending to what extent he embraces his ascetic life. If he lives such an austere life only for his own spiritual discipline and is barely surviving in this world, then he is of little use to anyone but himself. If he does not carry it this far, but only denies himself “extras” over and above what is needed to live in this world and work and interact with others, then he is of some if not great use to himself and society as a whole. If we carry this to extremes, then this person is probably deriving some pleasure simply from living a useful if somewhat austere life in which case he’s creeping into our middle ground to some extent.

It is difficult to be a human being and not live in the middle or as you said in another posting, “suspended by the tension between them.” Life is very often a compromise; we compromise in small or large ways every day of our lives. If we had to stop making decisions, we would most likely find life to be deadly dull.


Steam Escaping!
The Son of the last of a long line of thinkers.

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