Individual Paper: A hedonist guide to sufficiency
Findings from studies on “happiness” suggest a correlation between subjective well-being and sufficiency: pursuing a good life might well come as lifestyles that are less materialistic oriented. Such empirical findings match the traditional philosophical teachings of Eudaimonia and Hedonism, a happy life roams around either intellectual work or a joyful laziness. In no regard they promote a stressful life pivoting around labour and consumerism, the average a house, a car, a full-time job picture, etc.
Yet the path of Eudaimonia in a ascetic version seems to prevail in the degrowth discourse. Proponents highlight a subsistence oriented living with a high share of gardening, repairing and community work while limiting travelling, consumption and all other resource intensive activities. There is a tendency of romanticising the imagined 'good-old life' of simplicity or even an imaginary harmony with nature like in the teachings of deep-ecology.
The pro-modern, materialistic and critical theory based approach that would argue against such an idealised realm of necessity and look for a the realm of freedom seems so be weak. Yet there is some teaching about an 'enlighted hedonism' which from authors like Bernulf Kanitscheider, Michel Onfray and can also call on ideas of Michel Foucault and others.
A hedonist guide to sufficiency therefore argues that the development of individual freedom and self-fulfilment is the most reasonable aim of mankind and would also offer pathways of sufficiency oriented lifestyles. This would include mainly arts and culture, but also more profanely all kinds of leisure and laziness.
This contribution will give some theoretical ideas and practical explorations of where a hedonist guide to sufficiency could lead to – and probably appeal to many more people that are less attracted by the ascetic scenarios prevailing the degrowth discourse.
Start time: 14:30
Room: Moriskan (Bistron)
Track: Subjectivities, Values, Ideas and Satisfactions