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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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Theodorus’s Innovations

Theodorus’s Innovations

(p.147) Chapter 8 Theodorus’s Innovations
The Birth of Hedonism

Kurt Lampe

Princeton University Press

This chapter turns to the other provocateur from the final generations of the Cyrenaic movement, Theodorus “the Godless.” Previous scholars have noted the profound break Theodorus makes from Cyrenaic tradition, since he declares bodily pain and pleasure “intermediate” between goodness and badness. In order to understand Theodorus, the chapter suggests paying attention to two points: first, the intermediate status of pain and pleasure is closely related to Theodorus' attested attitude of “indifference,” which should be interpreted as an evolution from Hegesias' indifference; second, this evolution necessitates a new basis for the joy which Theodorus makes his ethical end. This illuminates the new prominence Theodorus assigns to the virtues, which the chapter suggests are the primary source of his joy.

Keywords:   Theodorus, Cyrenaic movement, pain, pleasure, goodness, badness, indifference, Hegesias

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