Page images
PDF
EPUB

XIV.

was here at least subordinated to what with Socrates CHAP. was a bare outwork, and almost an obstruction to his leading thought. Granting that Aristippus was not a false follower of Socrates,' he was certainly a very one-sided follower, or rather he, among all the followers of Socrates, was the one who least entered into his master's real teaching.

Side by side with this foreign element, the genuine Points Socratic teaching cannot be ignored in the Cyrenaic blance. school. In that school there are in fact two elements, the combination of which constitutes its peculiarity. One of these is the doctrine of pleasure as such, the other, the limitation of that doctrine by the Socratic demand for intellectual circumspection—the principle that prudence is the only means for arriving at true pleasure. The former element, taken alone, would lead to the conclusion that sensual enjoyment is the only object in life; the latter, to the strict Socratic doctrine of morals. By uniting both elements Aristippus arrived at the conviction-which is stamped on all his language, and on which his personal character is a standing comment—that the surest way to happiness is to be found in the art of enjoying the pleasures of the moment with perfect freedom of soul. Whether this is indeed possible, whether the two leading thoughts in his system can be harmonised at all, is a question which it seems never occurred to Aristippus. We can only answer it in the negative. That freedom of soul, that philosophic independence

? As Schleiermacher maintains, Gesch, d. Phil. 87.

CHAP. at which Aristippus aimed, can only be secured by XIV.

soaring above the impressions of the senses and the particular circumstances of life to such an extent that happiness becomes independent of these surroundings and feelings. Conversely, when the enjoyment of the moment is the highest object, happiness can only be felt in proportion as circumstances give occasion to agreeable feelings; all unpleasant impressions being disturbers of happiness. It is impossible to abandon the feelings freely to the enjoyment of what is present, without at the same time being disagreeably affected by what is unpleasant. Abstraction, whereby alone this might be done, is distinctly forbidden; Aristippus requiring the past and the future to be ignored and the present only to be considered. Apart therefore from other defects, this theory suffers from contradiction in its fundamental principles, the injurious effects of which for the whole system could not fail to follow. As a matter of fact they soon appeared in the teaching of Theodorus, Hegesias, and Anniceris; hence the interest which the history of

the later Cyrenaics possesses. E. The About the same time that Epicurus was giving a later Cy

new form to the philosophy of pleasure, Theodorus, (1) Theo- Hegesias, and Anniceris, within the Cyrenaic School, dorus.

were advocating views partly agreeing with those of Epicurus, partly going beyond his doctrine of pleasure. Theodorus, on the whole, adhered to the principles of Aristippus, not hesitating, unscrupulous as he was, to push them to their most extreme conse

renaics,

CHAP
XIV.

quences. The value of an action depending upon its results to the doer, he concluded that any and every action might under circumstances be allowed. If certain things pass for immoral, there is a good reason why this should be so, if the masses are to be kept within bounds: the wise man, tied by no such prejudice, need not, in suitable cases, be afraid of adultery, theft, and sacrilege. If things exist for use, beautiful women and boys are not made only for ornament.? Friendship, it seemed to him, may be dispensed with; for the wise man is self-sufficing and needs no friends, and the fool can make no sensible use of them. Devotion to one's country he considered ridiculous; for the wise man is a citizen of the world, and will not sacrifice himself and his wisdom to benefit fools. The views of his School respecting the Gods and religion were also expressed

[ocr errors]

Opasútatos is the term used Cyrenaic teaching. But it is of him by Diog. ii. 116; and undoubtedly an exaggeration this epithet is fully justified by to charge him, as Epiphanius a passage like that, vi. 97. (Expos. Fid. 1089, A.) does,

2 Diog. ii. 99. That Theo- with inciting to theft, perjury, dorus said this and similar and robbery. things, cannot be doubted after Diog. 98, and Epiphanius, the definite and explicit testi. 1. c. in still stronger terms: mony of Diogenes. It is true αγαθόν μόνον έλεγε τον ευδαιμοthat, in Ρlut. Trang. Anim. 5, νούντα, φεύγειν (1. φαύλον) δε τον p. 567, Theodorus complains δυστυχούντα, κάν η σοφός" και that his pupils misunderstood αιρετών είναι τον άφρονα πλούσιον him-a statement which, if it outa kal åttelon (åraon?) This be true, probably refers to the statement, likewise, seems to practical application of his be rather in the nature of a principles. He may have led hasty conclusion, for Theodorus à more moral life than Bio makes happiness depend on in(Diog. iv. 53; Clemens, Pædag. telligence, and not on things 15, A.), and yet have expressed without. the logical consequences of the Diog. 98, Epiph. l. C.

4

CHAP.
XIV.

without reserve;' Bio ? and Euemerus 3 herein following his example. For all that, the theory of

on

an

2

The atheism of Theodorus, 1089, A.) also asserts that he which, besides bringing down denied the existence of a God.

him indictment at In the face of these agreeing Athens, gained for him the testimonies, the assertion of standing epithet đocos (he was Clemens (Pædag. 15, A.), that called Beds according to Diog. Theodorus and others had ii. 86, 100, in allusion to a joke wrongly been called atheists, of Stilpo's, but probably kat' and that they only denied the åvtípaow for deos), will be fre- popular Gods, their lives being quently mentioned. In Diog. otherwise good, can be of little 97 he says : rv... Tavrdnao iv weight. Theodorus no doubt αναιρών τας περί θεών δόξας • denied the Gods of the people και αυτού περιετύχωμεν βιβλίω in the first place, but it was επιγεγραμμένη περί θεών ουκ not his intention to distinguish ευκαταφρονήτω· εξ ου φασιν between them and the true God. . 'Επίκουρον λάβονται τα πλείστα The anecdotes in Diog. ii. 101, eineîv. The last statement can 116, give the impression of inonly apply to the criticism of sincerity. belief in the Gods generally, Diog. iv. 54: πολλά δε και for Epicurus' peculiar views αθεώτερον προσεφέρετο τοίς όμιabout them were certainly not λουσι τούτο Θεοδώρειον απολαύ- . shared by Theodorus. Sext. cas · but in his last illness he Pyrrh. iii. 218; Math. ix. 51, was overcome with remorse, 55, mentions him among those and had recourse to enchante who deny the existence of the ments. The argument quoted Gods, with the addition : did by Sen. Benef. vii. 7, 1, to του περί θεών συντάγματος τα prove that every one and that παρά τους Έλλησι θεολογούμενα no one commits sacrilege is ποικίλως ανασκευάσας. . Cic. (N. more a rhetorical and intellecD. i. 1, 2) says : nullos [Deos] tual work of skill. esse omnino Diagoras Melius 3 The view of Euemerus reet Theodorus Cyrenaicus puta- specting the Gods is briefly as verunt, Ibid. 23, 63: Nonne follows: There are two kinds of aperte Deorum naturam sustu. Gods—heavenly and incorruplerunt? Ibid. 42, 117: Omnino tible beings, who are honoured Deos esse negabant, a statement by men as Gods, such as the which Minuc. Fel. Oct. 8, 2, and sun, the stars, the winds; and Lact. Ira Dei, 9, probably re- dead men, who were raised to peat after him. Likewise Plut. the rank of Gods for their Comm. Not. 31, 4, p. 1075, says: benefits to mankind. Diodorus Even Theodorus and those who in Eus. Pr. Ev. ii. 2, 52. To shared his views did not de. the latter class of beings Eueclare God to be corruptible, merus referred the whole of αλλ' ουκ επίστευσαν ως έστι τι Mythology, and supposed it to ápdaptov. Epiph. (Expos. Fid. be a history of princes and

CHAP,
XIV.

Aristippus did not altogether satisfy him. He was fain to admit that pleasure and pain do not merely depend on ourselves and our inner state, but also in a great measure on external circumstances; and he therefore sought such a definition of the highest good as should secure happiness to the wise man, and make that happiness dependent on his prudence.' This result, he thought, would be reached if happiness were made to consist, not in individual pleasures, but in a cheerful state of mind—and conversely evil, not in individual feelings of pain, but in an unhappy tone of mind; for feelings being the effects of impressions from without, states of mind are in our own power. Accordingly, Theodorus asserted that in themselves pleasure and pain are neither good nor bad; goodness consists in cheerfulness, evil in sadness; the former proceeds from prudence, the latter from folly; therefore pursue prudence and justice, eschew

princesses, Uranus, Cronus, Cyrenaic doctrine belongs to Zeus, Rhea, &c. For further Theodorus : that not every evil particulars respecting this ra- engenders sorrow, but only un. tionalising history of the Gods, foreseen evils, that many preconsult Steinhart, Allg. Encyclo. cautions can be taken to preArt. Euhemerus. V. Sieroka, vent sorrow by familiarising De Euhemero.

ourselves with the thought of | These reasons are not men- future evils. What control of tioned in so many words, but outward impressions he conthey follow from Theodorus' sidered possible by prudence, positions about the highest appears also from the explanagood, and also from the stress tory remarks in Stob. Floril, which, according to Diog. 98, 119, 16; the wise man has he laid on the aŭtápkela of the never sufficient reason to put wise man, and the difference an end to his own life, and it he made between wisdom and is inconsistent to call vile the folly.

only evil, and then to put an ? Probably what Cic. (Tusc. end to life to avoid the suf. iii. 13, 28; 14, 31) quotes as ferings of life.

« PreviousContinue »