Aristippus of Cyrene (c. 435 – c. 356 BCE) was the founder of the Cyrenaic school of Philosophy.
AristippAristippus the Elder of CyreneAristippus of Cyrene


His outlook came to be called "ethical hedonism."
Ethical hedonism is said to have been started by Aristippus of Cyrene, a student of Socrates.


He was a pupil of Socrates, but adopted a very different philosophical outlook, teaching that the goal of life was to seek pleasure by circumstances to oneself and by maintaining proper control over both adversity and prosperity.
Other sources include the contemporaneous Antisthenes, Aristippus, and Aeschines of Sphettos.


CyrenaicCyrenaic schoolcyréaniques
Aristippus of Cyrene (c. 435 – c. 356 BCE) was the founder of the Cyrenaic school of Philosophy.
The Cyrenaics or Kyrenaics (Kyrēnaïkoí) were a sensual hedonist Greek school of philosophy founded in the 4th century BCE, supposedly by Aristippus of Cyrene, although many of the principles of the school are believed to have been formalized by his grandson of the same name, Aristippus the Younger.

Cyrene, Libya

CyreneCyrenaeanArchaeological Site of Cyrene
Aristippus of Cyrene (c. 435 – c. 356 BCE) was the founder of the Cyrenaic school of Philosophy.
It was also the seat of the Cyrenaics, a famous school of philosophy in the fourth century BC, founded by Aristippus, a disciple of Socrates.

Arete of Cyrene

AreteArete (of Cyrene)
Among his pupils was his daughter Arete.
She was the daughter of Aristippus of Cyrene.

Aristippus the Younger

There are indications that he was conflated with his grandson, Aristippus the Younger.
Aristippus the Younger, of Cyrene, was the grandson of Aristippus of Cyrene, and is widely believed to have formalized the principles of Cyrenaic philosophy.

Theodorus the Atheist

TheodorusTheodorus of CyreneTheodorus Cyrenaicus
Theodorus was a disciple of Aristippus the Younger, grandson of the elder and more celebrated Aristippus.

Lais of Corinth

Diodorus dates him to 366, which agrees very well with the facts known about him, and with the statement, that Lais, the courtesan with whom he was intimate, was born in 421.
Among her clients were the philosopher Aristippus (two of his alleged writings were about Lais) and the Olympic champion Eubotas of Cyrene.


Sosicrates of Rhodes
Diogenes Laërtius, on the authority of Sotion and Panaetius, gives a long list of books whose authorship is ascribed to Aristippus, though he also states that according to Sosicrates of Rhodes, Aristippus never wrote anything.
Sosicrates was born on the island Rhodes and is noted, chiefly, for his frequent mention by Diogenes Laërtius in his Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers — referencing Sosicrates as the sole authority behind such facts as Aristippus having written nothing.

Hegesias of Cyrene

He is said by Diogenes Laërtius to have been the pupil of Paraebates, who was a pupil of Epitimedes, who was a pupil of Antipater of Cyrene, who was a pupil of Aristippus (435-c.360 BC).


To each separate action, there is a particular end, namely the pleasure which actually results from it. He differed from Aristippus because he allowed that friendship, patriotism, and similar virtues, were good in themselves; saying that the wise person will derive pleasure from such qualities, even though they cause occasional trouble, and that a friend should be chosen not only for our own need, but for kindness and natural affection.

History of anarchism

history of anarchismanarchist historyanarchism
Similarly, anarchistic tendencies in the West can be traced to the philosophers of ancient Greece such as Zeno of Citium, the founder of Stoicism; and Aristippus, who said that the wise should not give up their liberty to the state.


Following Aristippus—about whom very little is known—Epicurus believed that what he called "pleasure" was the greatest good, but that the way to attain such pleasure was to live modestly, to gain knowledge of the workings of the world, and to limit one's desires.


Though the seeds of the theory can be found in the hedonists Aristippus and Epicurus, who viewed happiness as the only good, the tradition of utilitarianism properly began with Bentham, and has included John Stuart Mill, Henry Sidgwick, R. M. Hare, David Braybrooke, and Peter Singer.

Greek name

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Pythagoras's name led him to be associated with Pythian Apollo; Aristippus of Cyrene explained his name by saying, "He spoke the truth no less than did the ". A late source gives Pythagoras's mother's name as Pythaïs.

Hellenistic philosophy

HellenismHellenisticHellenistic philosophers
The Cyrenaics were a hedonist school of philosophy founded in the fourth century BCE by Aristippus, who was a student of Socrates.

Philosophy of happiness

Janello, MartinJoyA happy society
The Cyrenaics were a school of philosophy established by Aristippus of Cyrene (c. 435 – c. 356 BCE).