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The Birth of HedonismThe Cyrenaic Philosophers and Pleasure as a Way of Life$
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Kurt Lampe

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691161136

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691161136.001.0001

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(p.1) Chapter 1 Introduction
The Birth of Hedonism

Kurt Lampe

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter talks about the Cyrenaic philosophical hedonists and highlights two aspects of their beliefs. First, many of the Cyrenaics' fundamental beliefs and arguments revolve around pleasure and pain. In particular, they all agree that either bodily or mental pleasure is the greatest and most certain intrinsic good. This could be indicated as formal hedonism. Second, they actually indulge in all sorts of everyday pleasures such as food and sex. In other words, notwithstanding disagreements among members of the movement, in general it is not by sober parsimony or self-restraint that they attempt to live pleasantly. In this they differ (at least in degree) from many formal hedonists, including their competitors and eventual successors, the Epicureans. This is called everyday hedonism.

Keywords:   Cyrenaics, hedonists, pleasure, pain, bodily pleasure, mental pleasure, formal hedonism, food, sex, everyday hedonism

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