THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE AND GENERAL INFORMATION

ELEVENTH EDITION 1911

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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.
Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected. They appear in the text like this, and the explanation will appear when the mouse pointer is moved over the marked passage. Sections in Greek will yield a transliteration when the pointer is moved over them, and words using diacritic characters in the Latin Extended Additional block, which may not display in some fonts or browsers, will display an unaccented version.

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