Definition of Cyrenaic in English:



  • Denoting the hedonistic school of philosophy founded c.400 BC by Aristippus the Elder of Cyrene, which holds that pleasure is the highest good and that virtue is to be equated with the ability to enjoy.

    • ‘A member of the society of Pythagoras, Theodorus was one of the main philosophers in the Cyrenaic school of moral philosophy.’
    • ‘One of the most striking features of Cyrenaic ethics is their assertion that it is pleasure, and not happiness, which is the highest good.’
    • ‘In ethics he followed within certain limits the Cyrenaic doctrine, conceiving the highest good to be happiness, and happiness to be found in pleasure, to which the natural impulses of every being are directed.’
    • ‘The first of the Cyrenaic school was Aristippus, who came from Cyrene, a Greek city on the north African coast.’
    • ‘Aristippus was a follower of Socrates, and the founder of the Cyrenaic school of philosophy.’


  • A follower of the Cyrenaic school of philosophy.

    • ‘Alone among ancient philosophers, some of the Cyrenaics say that we should not be concerned about it.’
    • ‘Together with the Megarians, Cyrenaics and Cynics they count among the minor Socratic schools.’
    • ‘But the aim is not with him, as it is with the Cyrenaics, the pleasure of the moment, but the enduring condition of pleasure, which, in its essence, is freedom from the greatest of evils, pain.’
    • ‘Aware of the Cyrenaics who hold that pleasures, moral and immoral, are the end or goal of all action, Epicurus presents a sustained argument that pleasure, correctly understood, will coincide with virtue.’
    • ‘There are important differences between Protagoras' relativism and the Cyrenaics ' subjectivism.’
    • ‘The Cyrenaics and others maintained that this condition is not pleasurable but rather neutral - neither pleasurable nor painful.’
    • ‘Because of the contempt that the hedonism of Aristippus and the Cyrenaics inspired, Aristippus became a natural focal point for many scandalous stories that were supposed to provide fitting illustrations of his thought.’