Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hedonism and Motivation

Hedonism and Motivation

                                                           Hedonism and Motivation

While reading about Hedonism and Motivation in Chapter 2, I found out some interesting information.  I decided to look more into the topics and learn more about it by browsing different websites on the Internet.  In the slides for chapter 2, it states that "Motivation is governed by hedonism."  Also, "Hedonism pursues pleasure and avoids pain."  In an article I read online, I found something similar, "Motivational hedonism is the claim that only pleasure or pain motivates us." But it seems as though it is supposed to be more of a positive thing rather than a negative one.  For the ancient Greek philosophers Socrates, Democritus, and Epicurus, hedonism meant "pleasure is to exceed pain when averaged over the long run." 

The emotions of hedonism should consist of things such as joy, excitement, satisfaction and happiness. 

According to the late theorists, Hobbes and Locke (Mid to Late 1600's) (Click HERE see Who were Hobbes and Locke?), Hobbes view on incentive motivation was to "approach pleasing, and avoid displeasing stimuli."  Hobbes and Locke had different perspectives on various issues, such as nature, natural law and society.  Hobbes theory was, "Man is not by nature a social animal, society could not exist except by the power of the state," whereas Locke believed "Man is by nature a social animal."  Hobbes felt that in a state of nature people cannot know what is theirs and what is someone else’s. Also, property exists solely by the will of the state.  Locke argues that humans do know what is right and wrong, and are capable of knowing what is lawful and unlawful well enough to resolve conflicts.  They are also capable of telling the difference between what is theirs and what belongs to someone else. 

Hobbes and Locke did agree that some type of ruler was necessary for a country to "thrive and flourish."  Without one, the country would likely fail. Hobbes thought that only one man, "a king", should have the right to govern the people.  He should make the decisions and write the laws. Locke, on the other hand, felt that the people should somewhat run the government. He believed that the people should have a say in everything the government decided, including who ruled over the country. He also believed that if the government did not uphold its end of the bargain, then the people had the right and responsibility to overthrow the government.

Hobbes thought that people needed controlling, like animals, in order to survive, while Locke thought that people had to experience something in order to understand it.  But, they both did believe in God, but they had little use for Him. Hobbes influenced the people in and around his time period, while Locke influenced people a few decades later.

I learned a lot in these two chapters.  I didn't really know and understand much of hedonism, nor did I know who Hobbes and Locke were.  It's actually interesting to research the philosophers and their views and ideas.