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ANNICERIS, a Greek philosopher of the Cyrenaic school.
There is no certain information as to his date, but from the
statement that he was a disciple of Paraebates it seems likely
that he was a contemporary of Alexander the Great. A follower of
Aristippus, he denied that pleasure is the general end of human
life. To each separate action there is a particular end, namely
the pleasure which actually results from it. Secondly, pleasure
is not merely the negation of pain, inasmuch as death ends all
pain and yet cannot be regarded as pleasure. There is, however,
an absolute pleasure in certain virtues such as belong to the love
of country, parents and friends. In these relations a man will
have pleasure, even though it may result in painful and even
fatal consequences. Friendship is not merely for the satisfaction
of our needs, but is in itself a source of pleasure. He maintains
further, in opposition to most of the Cyrenaic school, that
wisdom or prudence alone is an insufficient guarantee against
error. The wise man is he who has acquired a habit of wise
action; human wisdom is liable to lapses at any moment.
Diogenes Laertius says that Anniceris ransomed Plato from
Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse, for twenty minas. If we are
right in placing Anniceris in the latter half of the 4th century,
it is clear that the reference here is to an earlier Anniceris, who,
according to Aelian, was a celebrated charioteer.
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