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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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Knowledge and Pleasure

Knowledge and Pleasure

(p.26) Chapter 3 Knowledge and Pleasure
The Birth of Hedonism

Kurt Lampe

Princeton University Press

This chapter addresses the theoretical foundations of Cyrenaicism, which are the positive valuation of pleasure, the negative valuation of pain, and the impossibility of discerning any value independent of pleasure or pain. This is a good example of a topic where chronological analysis descends almost immediately into pure speculation: it is best to treat Cyrenaic epistemology as the shared intellectual property of almost all the philosophers studied in this chapter. Investigating how the Cyrenaics describe pleasure, how they argue for its preeminent choiceworthiness, and how this choiceworthiness is supposed to guide their actions and establish their horizon of care is a good way to begin exploring their ethics.

Keywords:   Cyrenaicism, pleasure, pain, Cyrenaic epistemology, Cyrenaics, choiceworthiness

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