Diogenes


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Diogenes

(dīŏj`ənēz), c.412–323 B.C., Greek Cynic philosopher; pupil of Antisthenes. He was born in Sinope and lived in Athens. He taught that the virtuous life is the simple life, and he dramatically discarded conventional comforts, living in a tub. He is said to have thrown away his last utensil, a cup, when he saw a peasant drink from his hands. When Alexander the Great asked what he might do for him, Diogenes said, "Only step out of my sunlight." His daylight quest with a lantern "for an honest man" was probably the most striking expression of his contempt for his generation.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Diogenes

 

Born circa 404 B.C.; died circa 323 B.C. Ancient Greek philosopher.

A disciple of Antisthenes, the founder of the school of Cynics, Diogenes developed the master’s doctrine along the lines of a naive materialism. He rejected civilization, particularly the state; declared culture to be an act of violence against human nature; and demanded that man return to a primitive condition. Diogenes declared himself to be a citizen of the world and advocated a communality of wives and children. He carried his indifference to morality and societal life to the point of complete equanimity to any of the inconveniences of life. According to apocryphal anecdotes Diogenes used to live in a tub, and, when Alexander the Great asked what Diogenes would like from him, he answered, “Move away and don’t block my sunlight.” Diogenes criticized Plato’s doctrine of ideas from the point of view of an extreme sensualism, recognizing only the particular. Together with the Sophists he also propounded the contradictions between natural endowment and human institutions. Diogenes rejected polytheism and religious cults as arbitrary human institutions, and he acknowledged only ascetic virtue, based on an imitation of nature. In this he found man’s sole purpose.

REFERENCES

I. K. [Korsunskii]. Izrecheniia drevneishikh grecheskikh myslitelei. Kharkov, 1887. Pages 199-225.
Biriukov, P. I. Grecheskii mudrets Diogen, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1910.
Gomperts, G. Grecheskie mysliteli, vol. 2. St. Petersburg, 1913. Pages 103-28.
Fritz, K. Quellen-Untersuchungen zu Leben und Philosophie des Diogenes von Sinope. Leipzig, 1928.
Sayre, F. Diogenes of Sinope. Baltimore, 1938.

A. F. LOSEV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Diogenes

(412–323 B. C.) despised worldly possessions; made his home in a tub. [Gk. Hist.: Hall, 104]

Diogenes

(412–323 B.C.) frustratedly looked everywhere for an honest man. [Gk. Hist.: Avery, 395]

Diogenes

Dr. Blimber’s clumsy dog. [Br. Lit.: Dombey and Son]
See: Dogs

Diogenes

(c. 412–323 B.C.) philosopher; fabled lantern-carrying searcher for an honest man. [Gk. Hist.: Hall, 104]
See: Honesty
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Diogenes

?412--?323 bc, Greek Cynic philosopher, who rejected social conventions and advocated self-sufficiency and simplicity of life
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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This article examines Diogenes of Apollonias doctrines of intellection (vor|CTic) and soul in relation to his material principle, air.
The world of cosmopolitan nightclubs is far removed from the world inhabited by Diogenes the Cynic who coined the word cosmopolitan.
They cover the power of speech: the influence of the Sophists on Greek politics; philosophical dogs and tyrannical wolves in Plato's Republic; the good of knowing the forms; individual competence and collective deliberation in Aristotle's Politics; Diogenes the comic: how to tell the truth in the face of a tyrant; Dio of Prusa and the Roman Stoics on how to speak the truth to oneself and to power; Stoic Utopia reconsidered: Pyrrhonism, ethics, and politics; and Plato's tyrant in Neoplatonic philosophy.