Doubtless much gross error would have been avoided had his disciples adhered more closely to his inductions from the being and attributes of God; for, in the absence of a better light, this argument from final causes, though it could not satisfy the misgivings of a thoughtful mind, présented the shadow of happiness by the path of present improvement; and it is much to be lamented that only one of his numerous followers approached, in the character of his investigation, the disposition of the philosopher himself. Indeed, the different ramifications of the Socratic schools have caused their division into three classes. The first of these is hardly imbued with even his general principles-the second, more connected with him, yet still fettered by the relics of former theories, whence they are termed the imperfect Socratists—and the third comprehends Plato and his immediate successors, who had imbibed a greater attachinent to their founder's method. We shall take them, therefore, in order, by first treating of the imperfect Socratists, or Cyrenaic, Cynic, Megarean, Elian, and Eretrian schools ; then proceeding to that of Plato, and his successors of the old Academy.




UNDER the denomination of Socraticimperfect indeed, as divested of the moral end which distinguished the opinions of the Athenian philosopher--it is usual first to mention the Cyrenaic school, so called from Cyrene, in Africa, which was the birth-place of its founder. Aristippus the elder flourished about the ninety-sixth Olympiad, and being a man of luxurious habits and strong passions, his temperament naturally inclined him to the pernicious doctrine that the gratification of sense was the great end of life. He instructed his daughter Arete; through whose son, the young Aristippus, an attempt was made to maintain this system, the degrading terdency of which, however, soon brought it to decay.

Aristippus the elder left his own country in order to enjoy the discourses of Socrates, though he took care to attach himself chiefly to those who treated most of pleasure. He quitted Athens previous to the death of his teacher, and, being possessed of an ample estate, lived with such luxury at Ægina, that the Athenian moralist sent earnest exhortations, though in vain, to reclaim him from his abandoned courses. Retiring at last to the court of Dionysius, the tyrant of Sicily, he lived in great favour with that prince, who was more charmed with the reckless profligacy of the libertine, than with the gravity of Plato and the austerity of Diogenes, both residents at his court. His daughter having sent to require his presence at home, Aristippus returned to Cyrene, though there appears a contradiction in the accounts given of a later period of his life; one making him to have returned to Cyrene and opened a school, the other to have died on his way

home at Lipara.

The readiness of his wit has caused many apothegms to be attributed to him, and incidents of his life are quoted, evincing great promptitude and decision of character. Twice he is said to lave designedly thrown away his property; the


I want money,

first time, when in Africa, he found it encumber his speed in travelling; and again, at sea, when pursued by pirates, he preferred to lose it rather than his life. Having chosen to receive money of Dionysius at the same time that Plato accepted only of a book, he was reproached for his apparent cupidity:"The reason is plain,” he remarked ;

and Plato requires books.” Scimas, the treasurer of the king, a man of immense wealth, but of despicable character, once showed Aristippus over his house. While he was pointing out the magnificence of the whole dwelling, even to the floors, Aristippus spat in his face, which act transported him with fury; “Excuse me," exclaimed the philosopher, “there was no other place where I could have spat with decency.” He was once asked why he fee'd a lawyer to plead for him in a suit; “ Because,” said he, " when I have a great supper to make, I always hire a cook.” These and many other anecdotes prove that a life of jest and gaiety was more congenial to him than the self-restrictions of Socratic discipline, to which philosophy his own bore only resemblance in its almost total rejection of physical science.

Again, though he went some length with

Socrates as to the proper objects of desire, in one respect he totally differed from the latter, who considered sensuality as below the intellectual condition of man, in that Aristippus regarded sensual gratification as the chief good, and pain as the opposing evil of life. The slight restriction which the Cyrenaic placed upon

the senses by reason, was annulled by the example of his own careless deportment; and his disciples soon learned to aim at momentary gratification, without reference to any ulterior view of life. Aristotle includes him amongst the Sophists, from his opinion of the uncertainty of science; but though Aristippus taught that our senses deceive us in regard to objects, he maintained that their report was correct as to sensations of pain or pleasure; and hence, that we naturally desire whatever affords the one, and avoid the source of the other. All philosophy he divided into the doctrine of desires, affections, actions, causes, and proofs; and his system being deduced from these, resernbled the Sophists in taking pleasure and pain as the criteria of action ; and differed from that of Socrates in making plea sure a positive conception, and not merely the gratification of a want. In fact, as Socrates took happiness to be the incentive of all action,

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