HEGESIASCrete, 3rd century B.C.
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Hedonistic philosopher of the Cyrenaic School founded by Aristippus. He was, together with Annikeri, a student of the Cyrenaic philosopher Paraivatus, while he taught in Alexandria during the reign of Ptolemy I of Lagos. But Ptolemy forbade him to teach because, as Cicero mentions, many of his listeners were driven to suicide by his teaching. That is why he is referred as Peisithanatos in the history of philosophy.
Although the aim of the Cyrenaic School was the search for pleasure, Hegesias considered it impossible because its achievement does not only depend on us but also on the factor of luck. He advised his followers to voluntarily throw away their lives and secure their freedom from earthly things. The release that comes with death is, for this philosopher, the highest good of pleasure. All that man can achieve in life is his mental state of not feeling pain, sorrow, or destitution, as he called it. His teaching found great resonance in Alexandria.
Because of his teachings, however, Ptolemy was forced to expel him from the city. Hegesias wrote a work entitled Apokarteron (i.e. a man who can no longer endure life), in which he refers to the sufferings of human life.
- POVERTY AND WEALTH HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH PLEASURE
- BLISS IS CONSIDERED UTOPIA
- THE BODY ENDURES MUCH SUFFERING, THE SOUL FEELS THE SAME AND IS DISTURBED AND FORTUNE PREVENTS THE REALIZATION OF MANY HOPES
- BOTH LIFE AND DEATH ARE DESIRABLE
- SOME APPRECIATE AND OTHERS DISGUST ACCORDING TO RARITY, DEPRIVATION, OR SATIETY
- THERE IS NO GRATITUDE, FRIENDSHIP OR BENEVOLENCE, BECAUSE WE CHOOSE THEM NOT FOR WHAT THEY ARE, BUT BECAUSE WE NEED THEM. IF THERE IS NO SUCH NEED, THEY ARE LOST TOO
- THE PLEASURE OF THE RICH IS NO DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF THE POOR
- PLEASURE DOES NOT DEPEND ON WHETHER SOMEONE IS SLAVE OR FREE, NOBLE OR NOT, FAMOUS OR INSIGNIFICANT
- TO FOOLS LIFE HAS ADVANTAGES, TO THE WISE IT IS INDIFFERENT
- THE WISE DOES WHAT HE DOES FOR HIMSELF, BECAUSE HE CONSIDERS NO ONE ELSE HIS EQUAL. EVEN IF HE TAKES THE MOST FROM SOMEONE, HE CONSIDERS IT NOT WORTH HIS OFFER
- MISTAKES MUST BE FORGIVEN, BECAUSE NO ONE MAKES A MISTAKE OF HIS OWN WILL BUT COMPULSED BY SOME PASSION
- WE SHOULD NOT HATE BUT TRY TO TRANSMIT KNOWLEDGE
- THE WISE DOES NOT EXCEL SO MUCH IN CHOOSING THE GOOD AS IN AVOIDING THE BAD, WITH THE OBJECTIVE OF NOT LIVING PAINFULLY AND SADLY