Hedonism is the philosophy of pleasure. It means doing whatever brings you the greatest amount of pleasure, regardless of any other effects.
At first glance, hedonism seems pretty simple; just do whatever you like! Eat whatever you want, treat people rudely, lie around in bed all day! But things are not so simple. Philosophers speak of the paradox of hedonism, which refers to the way pleasure seems to go sour after a while.
If you’ve ever eaten too much candy at one time, you know how this works. You may enjoy the candy at the time, but soon after you get a terrible stomachache, and in the long run, your teeth will rot away.
As it turns out, behaving “hedonistically” is likely bring you more pain than pleasure, eventually! To get out of the paradox of hedonism, philosophers have suggested all sorts of methods for maximizing happiness in the long term. These methods are sometimes contrasted with pure hedonism, which is pursuing pleasure from moment to moment without regard for the future.