ARISTIPPUS (c. 435-356 B.C.), Greek philosopher, the founder of the Cyrenaic school, was the son of Aritadas, a merchant of Cyrene.
His daughter Arete, and her son Aristippus (µr)Tp03LSaKTos, " pupil of his mother"), carried on the school after his death.
Aristippus and his followers seized upon this, and made it the prime factor in existence, denying to virtue any intrinsic value.
Yet Aristippus was compelled to admit that some actions which give immediate pleasure entail more than their equivalent of pain.
Aristippus, both in theory and in practice, insisted that true pleasure belongs only to him who is self-controlled and master of himself.
Thus, in the end, Aristippus, the founder of ' the purest hedonism in the history of thought, comes very near not only to the Cynics, but to the more cultured hedonism of Epicurus and modern thinkers.
Other members of the school were Arete, wife of Aristippus, Aristippus the younger (her son), Bio and Euhemerus.
There are quatrains in the Rubdiyat of Omar Khayyam and pessimistic verses in Ecclesiastes which might have been uttered by Aristippus ("Then commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing than to eat and to drink and to be merry; for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life which God giveth him under the sun").
The earliest and the most extreme type of hedonism is that of the Cyrenaic School as stated by Aristippus, who argued that the only good for man is the sentient pleasure of the moment.
Lamettrie has been called "the Aristippus of modern materialism."
A follower of Aristippus, he denied that pleasure is the general end of human life.
Among these were Antisthenes the Cynic and Aristippus of Cyrene.
It is by their recognition of the duty of living consistently by theory instead of mere impulse or custom, their sense of the new value given to life through this rationalization, and their effort to maintain the easy, calm, unwavering firmness of the Socratic temper, that we recognize both Antisthenes and Aristippus as " Socratic men," in spite of the completeness with which they divided their master's positive doctrine into systems diametrically opposed.
Of their contrasted principles we may perhaps say that, while Aristippus took the most obvious logical step for reducing the teaching of Socrates to clear dogmatic unity, Antisthenes certainly drew the most natural inference from the Socratic life.
Bodily pleasures and pains Aristippus held to be the keenest, though he does not seem to have maintained this on any materialistic theory, as he admitted the existence of purely mental pleasures, such as joy in the prosperity of one's native land.
Watson, Hedonistic Theories from Aristippus to Spencer (1895); L.