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The Invention of Pleasure. Cyrenaic Fragments (L’Invention du plaisir. Fragments cyrenaiques)



Original Language: French | 284 pp. | 2002

2 Seas Represents: World Translation Rights.

Rights Sold:  Italy (Ponte Alle Grazie).


A Greek thought which considers the realization of pleasure as the main objective for wisdom

In the field of ideas, the Greek invented everything. Among their forgotten inventions exists a hedonistic trend (for which the fulfillment of pleasure is the main aim of wisdom) that we call  Cyrenaic because it developed at Cyrene, in Cyrenaica, a Greek colony in Northern Africa (present-day Libya).

The Cyrenaic philosophers gather around Aristippus of Cyrene (a contemporary of Plato, and very critical of him, V-IVth century B.C.), a whimsical man who does not hesitate do dress like a woman and who calls on jokes to make his audience think and philosophize. He was widely criticized, but he allowed some thinkers to build up their own doctrine, then he was discredited by the whole corpus of official philosophers, from the origins up to now.

L’invention du plaisir offers the first edition in French (with previously unpublished translations) of the texts and fragments that still exist. We may now discover the theories of these philosophers about money, love, power, and relationship with others, oneself, gods, women, and so on. A long preface by Michel Onfray allows setting these thinkers and their theses in the philosophical, historical and ideological context of their time. This book truly revives an engulfed area of Greek thought.