Cyrenaic Guidelines

by Gordon Ziniewicz

1. Overall End or "Summum Bonum" or "Reason for Living": Pleasure (of smooth physical sensations). Seek pleasure and avoid pain (of rough sensations).

2. Pleasure, physical satisfaction at the fulfillment of some desire, is superior to happiness, an overall state of well being and contentment in life.

3. Bodily pleasures are better than mental pleasures.

4. Bodily pains are worse than mental pains.

5. Intense pleasures are better than mild pleasures.

6. Immediate (here and now) pleasures are better than anticipated or remembered pleasures.

7. Intense pleasure is not derived from memory or anticipation of what is pleasant.

8. Pleasure is not derived from hearing or from sight alone, but needs touch (especially) or taste or smell.

9. Present and certain pleasure is superior to future and uncertain pleasure.

10. One should not endure present pain for the sake of future pleasure.

11. Reason must work to manipulate conditions in order to maximize pleasure.

12. Reason must master pleasure and not be mastered by it, although coming by pleasure is not always under our control.

13. What counts is the particular pleasure itself; the source or cause or acts leading up to that pleasure are unimportant (are not good or bad).

14. Pleasure is good even if it results from the most unseemly conduct.

15. Nothing is good or bad by nature, but only by convention and custom.

16. We cannot feel the pleasures and the pains of others.

17. Friendship is for the sake of pleasure.

18. The pleasure of a friend is not in itself desirable, for it is not felt by his neighbor.

19. Pleasure is not simply the absence of pain; nor is it simply freedom from trouble.

20. The wise man will consider first his own interests, for he does not regard anyone else as equally deserving.

21. The wise man would indulge his desires openly without concern for circumstances.


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Copyright © 1996 Gordon L. Ziniewicz
This page last updated 10/14/12

Please note: These philosophical commentaries, though still in process, are the intellectual property of Gordon L. Ziniewicz. They may be downloaded and freely distributed in electronic form only, provided no alterations are made to the original text. One print copy may be made for personal use, but further reproduction and distribution of printed copies are prohibited without the permission of the author.