Gnosis (2008)

Kristian Urstad
Douglas College
It is noticeably clear from several ancient sources that the hedonist Aristippus of Cyrene (a friend and student of Socrates) asks us to concentrate on enjoying the pleasures of the present or near­ future. What is not so obvious is his reason for such a recommendation. Although any explanation for this is bound to be somewhat speculative due to the inadequacy of the sources, I would like to offer a possible rationale for, and subsequent reconstruction of, his view, one which might be seen to take its departure primarily from the hedonistic theory set forth in Plato’s Protagoras. In effect, I want to argue that Aristippus’ present­ moment focus can be explained as part of a rational overall strategy to guarantee maximum pleasure over one’s life as a whole. I begin this paper however, by briefly running through one of the more popular explanations advanced in recent years for Aristippus’ present­ moment focus and neglect of the future. This account, I try to argue, is not only unconvincing but largely incompatible with the bulk of the evidence.
Keywords Cyrenaics
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References found in this work BETA

The Morality of Happiness.Julia Annas - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
.J. Annas (ed.) - 1976
Socrates, Ironist and Moral Philosopher.R. A. McNeal - 1994 - History and Theory 33 (3):382.
The Greeks on Pleasure.J. C. B. Gosling & C. C. W. Taylor - 1982 - Oxford University Press.

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