Dr Grzegorz Hoppe

Theory of the hedonistic nature of human action

Theory of the hedonistic nature of human action
Dr Grzegorz Hoppe



Humans who want to compensate for discomfort take appropriate action and are subject to the following axioms (paradigms):

1. By their actions, humans seek to achieve subjective and subjective maximum pleasure (benefits),

2. In their actions humans manifest short- and long-term risk aversion – the fear of the risk of not getting pleasure (benefit), or the fear of unpleasantness (loss), so the aversion to the risk of loss is more important than the aversion to the risk of not gaining the benefit,

3. When choosing between immediate pleasure (benefit) and long-term pleasure (benefit), humans act in such a way as to obtain its subjective maximization,

4. Each person in a different and subjective way sets their own definition of pleasure (benefits), which usually changes over their lifespan through the influence of their environment,

5. Every human action is conditioned by the functioning of the unconscious and consciousness, with unconscious processes having priority in acts of choice,

6. The human unconscious is always focused on achieving pleasure (benefits), whereas consciousness is shaped by the process of socialization throughout life – through culture, religion, moral and legal principles, education and science – which can lead to attitudes other than hedonistic,

7. The human unconscious is above all subject to the action of impulses, emotions and instincts, and in particular the sex drive, which implies the pursuit of the unconscious to gaining sexual pleasure,

8. All limitations on human choices, especially institutional (legal, cultural or religious), cause a feeling of discomfort (unpleasantness), which translates into the human desire to subjectively maximize the freedom of their actions and their choices.

The above theory results directly from my Theory of the Essence of Life, and its reference to our reality is discussed in my books The Economics of Freedom and Homo Hedonistic – Another Economic Paradigm


Homo hedonistic’s decision-making processes:

  1. Over the course of a lifetime, each person changes their subjective measures of how probable it is that any event will occur,
  2. These measures undergo changes due to the influence of all socialization processes. Along with these changes, there are also changes in a person’s subjective definitions of pleasure (benefits),
  3. Over their lifetime, everyone creates their own cognitive maps and habits, which are also important for the changes (or lack thereof) in personal probability measures,
  4. Everyone has different probability measures at any given time, which is why we can make very different decisions in identical situations that require a decision,
  5. The process of change in these personal probability measures varies from person to person. Depending on knowledge and experience, these measures are more or less similar to values of mathematical probabilities. In every human being, the process of approaching optimal (rational) values takes place at different speeds,
  6. Because it is (fortunately) impossible to achieve full rationality, people remain a probabilistic life form.