What is moderated? I suppose not everyone has to be a Diogenes. But a Socrates might be ok.
Actually when I said that I was thinking of a religious figure (Buddha), and how he was an ascetic and then rejected that path for a less ascetic one. But anyone would do. I guess what I was thinking of with moderated asceticism is someone who sleeps as little as needed as opposed to sleeping 4 hours a night on the cold ground, someone who eats as little as needed as opposed to someone who eats bread and water once a day, etc. In other words, someone who doesn't necessarily indulge in a lot of comforts, but who doesn't go to extremes either.
Of course this differs from person to person. I believe it was in the stories of Abba Arsenius in the Sayings of the Desert Fathers that a shepherd was scandalized by the abba sleeping in a bed when sick (maybe even with a pillow?) And someone pointed out that the shepherd slept on the ground and generally just led a tough life all the time, so such things weren't especially difficult for him, but the abba had once had one of the most luxorious lifestyles as a tutor to the emperor's son(s), and thus for him such living as he was doing was quite a change and difficult. With that in mind, I suppose what you consider moderated asceticism isn't what I would, or what someone else would.
It's easy to be hedonistic. Our carnal nature desires it. It's hard to avoid it, and this is the idea. A good analogy. I love a juicy steak. If I eat it, I slouch, and am lazy, and want to rest. I might gain some weight after it as well. But if I eat the right vegeterian foods, I'm still more energetic and feel more healthy.
First let me say that I am not literally
advocating trying everything. If someone doesn't want to go do some heroine with a hooker and then do other activities, that's fine!
Even St. Ireneaus said that he did not believe that hedonists like the Carpocratians who spoke of experiencing everything actually meant that literally. Still, if our experiences in life are quite limited, is not our ability to discern and creatively and realistically (ie. accurately) consider also limited? For example, If I had never had sex before, I could still think and speculate about it, but it would most likely be quite different thoughts and speculations as compared to what I would think after having had sex. And this in turn could have an impact on my thoughts and speculations about human beings in general.
For the philosopher, thinking in a clear way means to go against or remove other "distractions" of carnal desires.
What if the philosophy is built around carnal or natural desires? For example, Arcesilaus, one of the heads of Plato's academy, said we should withhold assent to propositions and simply live our lives according to "the reasonable" (ie. the natural inclinations). And Aristippus of Cyrene, a student of Socrates, went further, saying that we should do whatever our desires demanded, without thought to the consequences (even if common sense said that it was a bad decision). They are considered philosophers by many/most, would you argue that they are not?