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The Birth of Hedonism – The Cyrenaic Philosophers and Pleasure as a Way of Life - Princeton Scholarship Online
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The Birth of Hedonism: The Cyrenaic Philosophers and Pleasure as a Way of Life

Kurt Lampe


According to Xenophon, Socrates tried to persuade his associate Aristippus to moderate his excessive indulgence in wine, women, and food, arguing that only hard work can bring happiness. Aristippus wasn't convinced. Instead, he and his followers espoused the most radical form of hedonism in ancient Western philosophy. Before the rise of the better known but comparatively ascetic Epicureans, the Cyrenaics pursued a way of life in which moments of pleasure, particularly bodily pleasure, held the highest value. This book provides the most comprehensive account in any language of Cyrenaic ideas an ... More

Keywords: indulgence, pleasure, Cyrenaics, Aristippus, Theodorus, ethics, atheism, pessimism, ancient Greek philosophy, Walter Pater

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780691161136
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691161136.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Kurt Lampe, author
University of Bristol