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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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Eudaimonism and Anti-Eudaimonism

Eudaimonism and Anti-Eudaimonism

(p.92) Chapter 5 Eudaimonism and Anti-Eudaimonism
The Birth of Hedonism

Kurt Lampe

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores the greatest controversy in existing scholarship on Cyrenaic ethics, which is the school's “anti-eudaimonism.” On the basis of Anniceris' formulation of the end many scholars have asserted that Cyrenaics are not “eudaimonists,” meaning their ethics does not center on the pursuit of happiness through cultivation of the virtues. The chapter suggests that this is incorrect for most Cyrenaics, and misleading even for Anniceris. However, it has led to philosophically interesting speculation about why the Cyrenaics would reject eudaimonism. Explanations have focused on personal identity, the subjectivity of value, and prudential reasoning. The chapter shows that each of these explanations relies on unsustainable interpretations of particular pieces of evidence.

Keywords:   Cyrenaic ethics, anti-eudaimonism, Anniceris, eudaimonists, Cyrenaics, personal identity, prudential reasoning

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