Saturday, January 24, 2009

Alternative hedonism - Philosophy Bites review

The great podcast Philosophy Bites generally publishes every week and even if it has lapsed a bit on that demanding schedule these past weeks, the podcast is as great, as valuable, concise, comprehensive and thought provoking as ever. As a matter of fact, on a filled playlist as I have, it matches better with my pace.

Last week's edition (there is a new one in the mean time) had a compelling title to begin with: Alternative Hedonism. It featured an interview with Kate Soper who takes an unusual approach to tackle the problem of the impending environmental catastrophe, which she takes is at least in part is caused by our consumerism. Even if you are inclined to believe that such a connection is not actual, one may consider our consumerism destructive on other grounds and the whole idea of an alternative hedonism remains appealing.

Hedonism lies to the foundation of consumerism and possibly also (I might add) our inherited mind of the hunter gatherer: enough is never enough. However, if it is pleasure we ultimately strive to, changing the terms of hedonism, could channel this basic instinct into a more healthy direction. If other experiences are to counts as pleasurable rather than the amassing of goods and the size of our wealth, we'd be more healthily inclined. This would be a matter of cultural values, so that massive possessions are less valued than experiences. A best example Soper suggests is sex - a hedonistic pleasure that will not burden the environment. An example Philosophy Bites tentatively suggests, with some nod of Soper, is the podcast Philosophy Bites. Safe, healthy and green pleasure.

More Philosophy Bites
Non-realism of God,

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