DIOGENESSinope, approx. 400 - 325 B.C.
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Cynic philosopher. The representative par excellence of Cynic philosophy. He was born in Sinope and came to Athens as a young man to study with Antisthenes, the founder of Cynic philosophy. He lived sometimes in Athens, sometimes in Corinth, where he died in 323 BC in old age.
Diogenes Laertius cites a long list of the philosopher's works, of which nothing has survived. He himself collected quotes, anecdotes and details from the life of the great cynic. However, many of these are probably inventions of his later admirers. Diogenes' life was austere, and the Athenians loved him dearly for his readiness and intelligence, with which he answered every question they asked him, as well as for the relentless and rough way in which he targeted the ills in society. His thinking was exclusively concerned with moral and social problems, and his teaching, essentially, was revolutionary and subversive of the existing order.
Diogenes sought radical change and transformation of human society and corrupt human nature. Humans - he said - have been forged by nature with noble metal, but which circumstances have debased. Therefore, it must be merged and re-forged, so that man can once again become the image of God. This goal is achieved with the Socratic method through knowledge. Man must study himself and understand human nature. Thus man will attain the highest bliss. He mainly extols the necessity of man's return to nature, as Rousseau later did.
Nature, says Diogenes, provided man with all the necessities of life, but he created artificial and non-existent desires and needs which often lead him to wickedness and corruption. The natural and austere life is incomparably more hedonistic than the life of civilized man, who pursues artificial pleasures and lives a life more miserable than that of animals.
Diogenes, according to tradition, was housed in a jar, guarded by his dogs, thus proving that even the house was something superfluous.
- LOVE OF MONEY IS THE METROPOLIS OF ALL EVIL
- HANDS TO FRIENDS SHOULD BE EXTENDED WITH FINGERS OPEN
- VALUABLE THINGS CAN BE BUYED WITH LITTLE MONEY AND VICE VERSA
- EVERYTHING BELONGS TO THE GODS
- SAGES ARE FRIENDS OF THE GODS
- BETWEEN FRIENDS EVERYTHING IS COMMON
- RESIST LUCK WITH COURAGE, LAW WITH NATURE, PASSIONS WITH REASON
- BEAUTY IS THE BEST LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION
- GOOD MEN ARE IMAGES OF GODS
- LOVE IS AN OCCUPATION FOR THOSE WHO DO NOTHING
- WRECKED IN LIFE IS A POOR OLD MAN
- OF WILD BEASTS THE WORST BITE IS DONE BY THE SYCOPHANT, OF THE TAME THE FLATTERER
- THE BELLY IS THE CHARYBDIS OF LIFE
- LIFE IS NOT BAD, BUT LIVING BAD IS BAD
- BEAUTIFUL PROSTITUTES ARE LIKE DEADLY DRINK
- THE PROFIT FROM PHILOSOPHY IS TO BE ABLE TO FACE ANYTHING THAT HAPPENS TO YOU
- THE SUN GOES TO WASTES, BUT DOESN'T GET DIRTY
- SLAVES ARE SUBJECT TO THEIR MASTERS, AND THE OBSCENE TO THEIR DESIRES
- PEOPLE IN LOVE GET PLEASURE FROM MISFORTUNE
- DEATH IS NOT BAD BECAUSE WHEN IT COMES WE DON'T PERCEIVE IT
- EDUCATION FOR THE YOUNG IS PRUDENCE, FOR THE OLD A COMFORT, FOR THE POOR WEALTH AND FOR THE RICH AN ORNAMENT
- THE BEST THING FOR PEOPLE IS TO BE ABLE TO SPEAK FREELY
- EXERCISE IS MENTAL AND PHYSICAL
- WITHOUT PRACTICE NOTHING CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED, WHILE WITH PRACTICE EVERY OBSTACLE CAN BE OVERCOME
- WE SHOULD CHOOSE NOT THE USELESS EFFORTS, BUT THOSE THAT NATURE DEMANDS TO LIVE HAPPILY
- PEOPLE ARE MISERABLE BECAUSE OF THEIR STUPIDITY
- AS THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN USED TO LIVE WITH PLEASURES ARE DISTRESSED BY THE LACK OF THEM, SO THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN USED TO THE OPPOSITE WAY OF LIFE DESPISE PLEASURES
- THE ULTIMATE WAY OF LIFE IS FREEDOM
- WITHOUT THE LAW THERE CANNOT BE ORGANIZATION OF THE REPUBLIC
- NOBLE ORIGIN, GOOD REPUTATION AND THE LIKE ARE ORNAMENTS THAT COVER EVIL
- THE ONLY CORRECT ORGANIZATION OF THE REPUBLIC IS THE ONE THAT IS REGULATED BY THE UNIVERSE
- WOMEN SHOULD BE COMMON TO ALL
- GEOMETRY, MUSIC, ASTRONOMY AND THE LIKE ARE USELESS AND UNNECESSARY
- OTHER DOGS BITE ENEMIES, BUT I BITE FRIENDS TO SAVE THEM
- GODS ARE PRAYED FOR HEALTH, BUT MOST ACT AGAINST HEALTH
- THE NOBLEST OF MEN ARE THOSE WHO DESPISE WEALTH, GLORY, PLEASURE, LIFE
- NOT IN A RICH CITY, NOR IN A RICH HOUSE CAN VIRTUE DWELL
- POVERTY IS A SELF-TAUGHT VIRTUE
- WHEN YOU TURN OFF THE LIGHT, EVERY WOMAN IS AS BEAUTIFUL AS LAIDA
- GET OUT OF MY VIEW, BECAUSE YOU'RE HIDING THE SUN FROM ME
- WHAT THE SOBER HAS IN HIS HEART, HE WILL SAY WHEN HE IS DRUNK