44 Philosophical Quotes by Greek Cynic Diogenes
Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Diogenes. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.
Wikipedia Summary for Diogenes
Diogenes ( dy-OJ-in-eez; Ancient Greek: Διογένης, romanized: Diogénēs [di.oɡénɛːs]), also known as Diogenes the Cynic (Διογένης ὁ Κυνικός, Diogénēs ho Kynikós), was a Greek philosopher and one of the founders of Cynic philosophy. He was born in Sinope, an Ionian colony on the Black Sea coast of modern-day Turkey, in 412 or 404 BC and died at Corinth in 323 BC.
Diogenes was a controversial figure. His father minted coins for a living, and Diogenes was banished from Sinope when he took to debasement of currency. After being exiled, he moved to Athens and criticized many cultural conventions of the city. He modeled himself on the example of Heracles, and believed that virtue was better revealed in action than in theory. He used his simple lifestyle and behavior to criticize the social values and institutions of what he saw as a corrupt, confused society. He had a reputation for sleeping and eating wherever he chose in a highly non-traditional fashion, and took to toughening himself against nature. He declared himself a cosmopolitan and a citizen of the world rather than claiming allegiance to just one place. There are many tales about his dogging Antisthenes' footsteps and becoming his "faithful hound".
Diogenes made a virtue of poverty. He begged for a living and often slept in a large ceramic jar, or pithos, in the marketplace. He became notorious for his philosophical stunts, such as carrying a lamp during the day, claiming to be looking for a man (often rendered in English as "looking for an honest man"). He criticized Plato, disputed his interpretation of Socrates, and sabotaged his lectures, sometimes distracting listeners by bringing food and eating during the discussions. Diogenes was also noted for having mocked Alexander the Great, both in public and to his face when he visited Corinth in 336 BC.
Diogenes was captured by pirates and sold into slavery, eventually settling in Corinth. There he passed his philosophy of Cynicism to Crates, who taught it to Zeno of Citium, who fashioned it into the school of Stoicism, one of the most enduring schools of Greek philosophy. No writings of Diogenes survive but there are some details of his life from anecdotes (chreia), especially from Diogenes Laërtius' book Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers and some other sources.
Wise kings generally have wise counselors; and he must be a wise man himself who is capable of distinguishing one.
Blushing is the color of virtue.
A friend is one soul abiding in two bodies.
Education gives sobriety to the young, comfort to the old, riches to the poor and is an ornament to the rich.
When Alexander the Great addressed him with greetings, and asked if he wanted anything, Diogenes replied Yes, stand a little out of my sunshine.
Aren't you ashamed, you who walk backward along the whole path of existence, and blame me for walking backward along the path of the promenade?
To arrive at perfection, a man should have very sincere friends or inveterate enemies; because he would be made sensible of his good or ill conduct, either by the censures of the one or the admonitions of the other.
Fools! You think of god as a sentient being. God is the word used to represent a force. This force created nothing, it just helps things along. It does not answer prayers, although it may make you think of a way to solve a problem. It has the power to influence you, but not decide for you.
Once he saw the officials of a temple leading away some one who had stolen a bowl belonging to the treasurers, and said, The great thieves are leading away the little thief.
Those who have virtue always in their mouths, and neglect it in practice, are like a harp, which emits a sound pleasing to others, while itself is insensible of the music.
If you are to be kept right, you must possess either good friends or red-hot enemies. The one will warn you, the other will expose you.
He was seized and dragged off to King Philip, and being asked who he was, replied, A spy upon your insatiable greed.
The chief good is the suspension of the judgment especially negative judgement, which tranquillity of mind follows like its shadow.
The vine bears three kinds of grapes: the first of pleasure, the second of intoxication, the third of disgust.
It was a favorite expression of Theophrastus that time was the most valuable thing that a man could spend.
When I look upon seamen, men of science and philosophers, man is the wisest of all beings; when I look upon priests and prophets nothing is as contemptible as man.
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