A List of Life Pleasures

  • I decided to make a list of life pleasures, and include a link to my blog in which I list/categorize pleasures based on the following:

    1. Pleasures of short duration

    2. Pleasures of medium duration

    3. Pleasures of longest duration - these I consider long because they often takes planning or more time, and they have a quality that persists over time through mental pleasure.

    4. Pleasures which come naturally and are easy to have
    5. Pleasures of recollection of the past or anticipation of the future

    6. Pleasure of the relief of pain

    And a further category that separates a few pleasures that are common for everyone, whereas other pleasures dependent on circumstances.

    Before reading my list, you might want to write out your own list - I found pleasure in thinking about life's pleasures and also interesting to think about the amount of time that pleasures last. And as life goes on, one may change what is on one's list. I would say we all need a good mix of all the pleasures, and from all categories (short, medium, long, etc.) to feel a complete life. :)

    (My list is a mix of personal and hypothetical, and just a very quick and incomplete list).

    A List of Life Pleasures
    This list is a combination of self-reflection, observation, and reasoning regarding pleasure. It is both those that arise naturally and thos...

  • Are you also listing them by "intensity" or "most pleasant"?

    Letter to Menoeceus (Bailey)

    126] But the many at one moment shun death as the greatest of evils, at another (yearn for it) as a respite from the (evils) in life. (But the wise man neither seeks to escape life) nor fears the cessation of life, for neither does life offend him nor does the absence of life seem to be any evil. And just as with food he does not seek simply the larger share and nothing else, but rather the most pleasant, so he seeks to enjoy not the longest period of time, but the most pleasant.

  • No (I probably didn't make that clear). I was only considering the length of time, not the intensity. I am currently thinking that a complete life is a mix of pleasures, both short, medium, and long. I think intensity will naturally vary on its own. By intensity I would define that as strong feelings of bodily sensation (of pleasure). And often intense pleasures will only last a very short time (for example: orgasm probably is the most intense pleasure, and then followed by the ice cream flavor "Death By Chocolate" -- but when eating ice cream the intensity is best at the very start and then sensory "hedonic adaptation" kicks in).

  • I am currently thinking that a complete life is a mix of pleasures, both short, medium, and long. I think intensity will naturally vary on its own.

    That presents the interesting question of how to view our desire for intense pleasure that does not last long. You indicate "naturally vary" but I be we can influence the mix by our choices.

    It does seem Epicurus' statement indicates we should weigh intensity in the balance of what we pursue.

    I think that's a good point for discussion and will illuminate some of our other issues. I know I often think myself in terms of the longest being presumably the better, but on further reflection I think we have to discard that as a "presumption."

  • Kalosyni I noticed on your blog post that you list planning as a pleasure of anticipation. I like that you did that: I often think of planning as tedious, that it requires thinking about things that need to be done, pleasant or not. Reframing planning as anticipation of future pleasures is a really good approach and helpful for keeping the goal of pleasure at hand while planning, thus making planning an Epicurean "exercise".