CYRENAIC—Another school of Philosophy, formed from amongst those who had come
under the sway of Socrates. Its founder was Aristippus of Cyrene, who was
attracted to Athens by the fame of Socrates (Diog. Laert., lib. II.). Under his
guidance the thought and practice of the school tended in the contrary
direction from that of the Cynics, exalting pleasure as the desirable,
not as if escape from pain were enough, but making attainment of
pleasure by direct effort, guided by regard to the known consequences of
actions, the end of life.
While at the opposite pole from asceticism,
it still insisted on the need for self-regulation as a necessary
condition for happiness in life. On account of the prominence
given to enjoyment, the school favoured in some measure a
sceptical tendency in thought, along with self-indulgence in practice. The
historic relations connect the Cyrenaics with the Epicureans of later days
(Zeller, Philosophy of the Greeks, Soc. and the Socrat. Schools, Reichel, ch.