Aristippus (Ἀρίστιππος) of Cyrene, (c. 435-c. 356 BCE), was the founder of the Cyrenaic school of Philosophy. He was a pupil of Socrates, but adopted a very different philosophical outlook, teaching that the goal of life was to seek pleasure by adapting circumstances to oneself by maintaining proper control over both adversity and prosperity. Among his pupils was his daughter Arete.
Though a disciple of Socrates, he wandered very far both in principle and practice from the teaching and example of his great master. He lived luxuriously; he was happy to seek sensual gratification, and the company of the notorious Lais; he took money for his teaching, and told Socrates that he resided in a foreign land in order to escape the trouble of involving himself in the politics of his native city. He passed part of his life at the court of Dionysius I of Syracuse or Dionysius the Younger, and is also said to have been taken prisoner by Artaphernes, the satrap who drove the Spartans from Rhodes, 396 BCE. He appears, however, at last to have returned to Cyrene, and there he spent his old age.
He imparted his doctrine to his daughter Arete, by whom it was communicated to her son, Aristippus the Younger, and by him it was said to have been reduced to a system. Diogenes Laërtius, on the authority of Sotion and Panaetius, gives a long list of books whose authorship is ascribed to Aristippus, though he also says that Sosicrates of Rhodes states that he wrote nothing. Some letters attributed to him are forgeries.
It is related of the Socratic philosopher Aristippus that, being shipwrecked and cast ashore on the coast of the Rhodians, he observed geometrical figures drawn thereon, and cried out to his companions: "Let us be of good cheer, for I see the traces of man." With that he made for the city of Rhodes, and went straight to the gymnasium. There he fell to discussing philosophical subjects, and presents were bestowed upon him, so that he could not only fit himself out, but could also provide those who accompanied him with clothing and all other necessaries of life. When his companions wished to return to their country, and asked him what message he wished them to carry home, he bade them say this: that children ought to be provided with property and resources of a kind that could swim with them even out of a shipwreck.