Diogenes the Cynical Philosopher


diogenes the cynical philosopher

Diogenes the Cynical Philosopher

Born: 404BC
Died: 323BC
Most noted for: Cynicism and being awfully rude.

Diogenes was a Greek philosopher born in Sinope, Turkey, who lived in a giant jar. He ranked up there with the greats like Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle, however the difference with him was he was given to P.R. stunts flavoured with a healthy dose of rudeness.
In one of his commentaries on life, he destroyed his only bowl upon seeing a boy drink from his hands: “Fool that I am, to have been carrying superfluous baggage all this time!”
When Philip of Macedon was about to visit the town of Corinth, Lucian writes that everyone was in a bustle to prepare. Diogenes, not one to be left out, started rolling his barrel around the town. When asked why, he replied: “I do not want to be thought the only idler in such a busy multitude; I am rolling my tub to be like the rest.”
Plutarch writes about an encounter between Alexander the Great and Diogenes (that may or may not have happened, but which is funny nonetheless). You’d think being spoken to by one of the greatest military commanders of the day would give you pause, but not this guy.

Alexander the Great: “Can I do anything for you?”

Diogenes: “Yeah, get out of my sunlight.”

Alexander the Great: “…you know what, if I were not Alexander I would wish to be Diogenes.”

Diogenes: “I’d wish to be Diogenes too.”


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