When people speak about disrupting action, an action that often goes against the commonly accepted moral laws, the pople that comes to my mind are Nietzsche, D'Annunzio, Marinetti and the Italian Futurism.

Are there any ancient Greek philosophers who had similar thoughts?

In this answer I read:

According to Epicurus, eudaimonia is achieved by successfully pursuing and maximizing pleasure. The catch is that the only way to successfully pursue and maximize one's pleasure is to practice virtue. In Epicureanism, virtue is nothing more than a means to an end, but it is the only possible means, so it is still a necessary condition of eudaimonia.

So probably Epicurus is not what I am looking for.

  • 3
    Thrasymachus, especially as characterized in the Republic ("justice is nothing other than the advantage of the stronger"), might give voice to some of these concerns.
    – Joseph Weissman
    May 1, 2012 at 17:16

1 Answer 1


I would add to Joesph Weissman's mention of Thrasymachus that Glaucon (who comes later in The Republic) presents the story about the Ring of Gyges and argues that ethics is just a sort of social convention.

The SEP's entry on moral relativism says:

In the classical Greek world, both the historian Herodotus and the sophist Protagoras appeared to endorse some form of relativism (the latter attracted the attention of Plato in the Theaetetus)... Among the ancient Greek philosophers, moral diversity was widely acknowledged, but the more common nonobjectivist reaction was moral skepticism, the view that there is no moral knowledge (the position of the Pyrrhonian skeptic Sextus Empiricus)

In addition to Sextus Empiricus, some other famous Greek skeptics were Pyhrro and Carneades.


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