- Originated in Classical Greece
- Is a precursor of Stoicism
- Virtue is the only thing you need for happiness
- Goal of cynics is to attain happiness
- Neglect everything (besides virtue): society, hygiene, family, sex, power, money
- Believed that world belonged equally to everyone
- Believes that suffering by false judgments of what was valuable, worthless customs and possessions of society
- Word cynic is derived from Greek word for dog (because to be a cynic, one would live like a dog)
- Become self sufficient
- Live in accordance with nature
Antisthenes of Athens (445-365 BCE)
- Founder of Cynicism
- Pupil of Socrates
- Contemporary of Plato
- “I have enough to eat till my hunger is stayed, to drink till my thirst is sated; to clothe myself as well; and out of doors not [even] Callias there, with all his riches, is more safe than I from shivering; and when I find myself indoors, what warmer shirting do I need than my bare walls?”
Diogenes of Sinope (412-323 BCE)
- Adopted Antisthenes way of life (self-sufficiency, austerity, and shamelessness)
- Slept in a tub
- Ate raw meat
Crates of Thebes (365-285 BCE)
- Pupil of Diogenes
- Renounced a large inheritance
- Married and lived on street like beggar (with wife)
- Taught Zeno of Citium (founder of Stoicism), had heavy influence of Stoic behaviour
5 Prescriptive Tips
- Cynics have no property. Reject all conventional values of money, fame, power or reputation.
- Cynics also live in harmony with nature, you must do this too.
- Cynics are the watchdogs of society. You must hound people in the error of their ways.
- Your body and mind must be at their top level. One cannot function properly without the other.
- All cynics are Cosmopolitan. If someone asks you where you are from, say you are a citizen of the world.
“Cynicism.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., 6 Aug. 2012. Web. 14 Aug. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynicism>.
Hanson, Scott. “How to Be a Cynic: 7 steps.” wikiHow – The How-to Manual That You Can Edit. N.p., 28 July 2012. Web. 14 Aug. 2012. <http://www.wikihow.com/Be-a-Cynic>.
Piering, Julie. “Cynics.” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. N.p., 18 Apr. 2006. Web. 14 Aug. 2012. <http://www.iep.utm.edu/cynics/>.