Philosophers who believe in cynicism are Cynics. Cynics are followers of ancient Greek philosophy who believe that life is not about achieving virtue, but about living in harmony with nature. They are also known as “naturalists” or “nihilists.”
A philosopher of the humanities who rejected emotive morality, Machiavelli’s philosophy of cynicism presents a pragmatic view of human nature, in which the best way to achieve success is to lose everything and follow your instincts. Cynicism is often associated with negativity and jadedness, but it does not necessarily mean he was cynical. Instead, he merely formulated a moral code for himself that was grounded in his own pragmatic understanding of human nature.
The philosopher also attempted to ground his theories in history, presenting a famous case study in the 16th century of the conspiracy against the Canneschi family after Bentivoglio’s murder. After Bentivoglio’s murder, the people of Bologna turned to a distant relative of the Canneschi family, and he ruled the city for a time until his son took over.
However, Machiavelli’s philosophy of cynicism is not anti-moral – it is just not about morality, as Machiavelli was writing in a less stable time. He was concerned with sweeping away corruption and creating a socially progressive dynamic. And he was concerned with the well-being of citizens and the people they govern. The philosopher’s views are not always easy to digest, but they are nonetheless useful.
The Prince is an example of this – he portrays evil not as a cosmic force, but as something that human beings can control and alleviate. Machiavelli did not view evil as an uncontrollable cosmic force – he viewed political science as a technology of survival. Cynicism is not about denying evil, but rather about acknowledging that all states fall short of the ideal of rational policy.
While Hegel’s characterization of Cynicism in his Critique of Human Action misrepresents the philosophy of Diogenes, his practice is an important example of dialectical praxis in antiquity. He sets up a dialectic of action almost like Hegel’s own, yet avoids the traps of idealism and transformation into a pure spirit. In the process, he reveals a complex social and political ethos.
One of the most striking features of Diogenes’ cynical philosophy is his belief in direct verbal interaction. In one famous example, he scolded the philosopher Hegesias for attempting to take a tablet from him. In addition to philosophic works, Diogenes’ life was a philosophical work in itself. The ancient Greek philosopher is considered a key source for a number of contemporary philosophers.
Despite the fact that he is widely regarded as a philosopher, his biography is sketchy. He claimed to be urged to travel to Delphi by an oracle. His biography, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, book 6, chapter 20. In this work, we can learn a little bit more about this philosopher, who lived in the Ionian colony of Sinope in the Black Sea. However, unlike many philosophers, Diogenes did not live in the city of Delphi. It is important to note that he was already practicing extreme anti-conventionalism by the time he reached Athens.
In his book, The Ecology of Being, Diogenes calls his critique “praxis.” Practice is a form of critique that he uses to illuminate the dynamics between phusis and nomos, and to challenge custom and unreflected behavior. This is a form of praxis that focuses on the human condition rather than external standards. It is a form of philosophy that can be viewed in many ways, including as a form of kosmopolite.
Diogenes’ sardonic cynicism
Cynics are not popular people, and Diogenes was no exception. In addition to being known as a dog man, the Cynic was also known as a mad Socrates. He wandered the streets and market place, openly masturbating and spatting in the face of officials. He was also known to throw rocks at locals and sleep in a barrel. However, despite his reputation for unsavory behaviors, his philosophy was still a major influence on philosophy.
As the biography of Diogenes progresses, the precise nature of his Cynicism is unknown. Many scholars interpret his biography as a combination of shamelessness and askesis. But this view ignores the centrality of reason in his practice. The resulting interplay between biography and legend is fascinating. But it does not explain the philosophic significance of Diogenes’ life.
Some of the more important early works on ancient Cynicism have been translated by William Dudley. His monograph is an excellent introduction to this philosophical movement. It is the only book-length study of ancient Cynicism in English. Many students use Dudley’s work as their first introduction to the subject. If you’re a student of ancient philosophy, the following sources may help you gain an appreciation of Diogenes’ philosophy.
The Cynics were harsh critics of Plato. Diogenes disproved his argument about a person having horns by touching his forehead. He also disputed Platonic definitions. In fact, he added broad nails to Plato’s definition of a person. A Cynic, therefore, is a madman in the best sense of the term.
In a world of abundant material goods and endless gratification, Diogenes’ nihilistic philosophy can seem somewhat extreme, but he firmly believed that enduring pain and hardship is the best way to experience happiness. According to Diogenes, the good life is about achieving self-sufficiency and focusing on the present moment. This explains why he urged people to abandon the concept of status and wealth, and instead focus on simple pleasures like eating and sleeping.
Despite this nihilist attitude, Diogenes lived the life of a dog, and attempted to influence others to follow his example. In fact, he was never married and satisfied his sexual cravings by masturbating in public. It’s no wonder that he had such a tough time influencing others with his views. If you’re thinking about the effects of Diogenes’ nihilism on human behavior, read on to find out how to avoid Diogenes’s nihilist outlook.
The Greek philosopher Diogenes was one of the founders of Cynicism. His ideas are hard to pin down, because he wrote so little. Although it is a widely recognized fact that he wrote at least ten books, a volume of letters, and seven tragedies, we can only get a vague idea of his thoughts and ideas. But his ideas are firmly rooted in Cynic practice, and are reflected in the anecdotes of his life and scattered classical sources.
The philosophy of Diogenes is widely quoted in art and literature. The philosopher’s works have influenced artists and writers from William Blake to Fyodor Dostoevsky. Among these are The Friend of the Family and The Idiot. Socrates’ work also features the anti-talent of Diogenes. The most famous is the Theory of Forms.
One of the most enduring themes of Greek philosophy is the notion of virtue and the corresponding virtues. Antisthenes followed the Stoics and adhered to ethical intellectualism, arguing that virtue is sufficient to attain happiness. He also criticized the idea of fortune as an important element in happiness, and suggested that the gods were more important than the gods themselves. But despite his ethical intellectualism, Antisthenes remained an avid reader of Homer.
Modern scholarly silence on Antisthenes is best explained by an industry of anti-Platonist interpretations of the Cynic philosopher in late nineteenth-century Germany. This movement sought to reconstruct the central figure of Antisthenes’ age by interpreting the texts they claimed to be Antisthenes’. These efforts failed to establish the Cynic character of Antisthenes and, instead, merely reconstructed Platonic ideas.
Cynics were also perceived as dogs. Their limited possessions and lack of respect for the accepted theories were interpreted as akin to the lifestyle of dogs. As such, many considered them to be “dogs.” In fact, they did not seem to engage in any type of work. And since they had so little money and were unable to pay for anything, Cynics had few material possessions.
Cynics arose from a school of philosophers founded by Antisthenes in ancient Greece. Antisthenes, a contemporary of Plato, taught at the Kynosarges gymnasium outside Athens. He was associated with another Cynic, Diogenes of Sinope. Diogenes criticized social conventions and declared that what is easy to do can be natural and acceptable in public. These philosophers earned the epithet ho kyon, which means doglike in Greek.