Anniceris (Greek: Ἀννίκερις; fl. 300 BC) was a Cyrenaic philosopher. He argued that pleasure is achieved through individual acts of gratification which are sought for the pleasure that they produce, but he also laid great emphasis on the love of family, country, friendship and gratitude, which provide pleasure even when they demand sacrifice. The Suda says he lived at the time of Alexander the Great (ruled 336–323 BC). The story that Anniceris ransomed Plato from Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse for twenty minas, must refer to an earlier Anniceris, possibly the celebrated charioteer mentioned by Aelian.
Anniceris denied that pleasure was merely the absence of pain, for if so death would be a pleasure; and furthermore he denied that pleasure is the general goal of human life. To each separate action there is a particular end, namely the pleasure which actually results from it. He differed from Aristippus because he allowed that friendship, patriotism, and similar virtues, were good in themselves; saying that the wise person will derive pleasure from such qualities, even though they cause occasional trouble, and that a friend should be chosen not only for our own need, but for kindness and natural affection.
He also denied that reason (Greek: ὁ λόγος) alone can secure us from error; the wise person is the person who has acquired a habit of wise action; human wisdom is liable to lapses at any moment.
- Suda, Anniceris.
- Laërtius 1925b, § 20; Laërtius 1925, § 86
- Aelian, Varia Historia, ii. 27.
- One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Anniceris". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 74.
- Laërtius 1925, § 96-97; Clement of Alexandria, Stromata. ii.
- Laërtius, Diogenes (1925). "Socrates, with predecessors and followers: Anniceris (subsection of Aristippus)". Lives of the Eminent Philosophers. 1:2. Translated by Hicks, Robert Drew (Two volume ed.). Loeb Classical Library.
- Laërtius, Diogenes (1925b). "Plato". Lives of the Eminent Philosophers. 1:3. Translated by Hicks, Robert Drew (Two volume ed.). Loeb Classical Library.