The Cynics

What do you think about when someone says the word cynic?

Maybe you think about of the cynic as an aphatetic person that likes to speak truths not many people want to hear or know.

Cynicism, however was a school of thought of the socratic period (contemporaries to Socrates), which argued that virtue was the sole good just like the Stoics. They thought that the only way to live a happy and fulfilling life was to live in accordance with nature. They took it to the extreme to the point of living just with what is necessary, disregarding all materials possessions as unnatural to men.

They also acted as critics of society, they criticized greed for example and showed scorn for everything that wasn’t virtuous in their eyes. This is why today you call a person a cynic.

The most famous Cynic is Diogenes of Sinope. The man in the painting above. It is said that he ate raw meat and that he even defecated in public, scorning all stares as ignorant of what living in accordance with nature truly means.



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