Cynics has 77 ratings and 13 reviews. Leo said: Very good introduction to Cynicism (of the ancient kind, a school of philosophy having very little to do. William Desmond, Cynics, Acumen, , pp, $ (pbk), ISBN Reviewed by John Moles, Newcastle University. Far from being pessimistic or nihilistic, as modern uses of the term “cynic” suggest, the ancient Cynics were astonishingly optimistic regarding human nature.

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Far from being pessimistic or nihilistic, as modern uses of the term “cynic” suggest, the ancient Cynics were astonishingly optimistic regarding human nature. It may be a bit hard to keep track of all the personalities and movements covered if one is not at all fesmond with stocism, epicureanism and other movements in the classical Greece after Socrates, but it does not require the reader to know anything about Cynicism beforehand.

Cynics // Reviews // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // University of Notre Dame

Here Desmond shows his fluency and the depth of his knowledge of the tradition. Approaching Cynicism from a variety of thematic perspectives as well–their critique of convention, praise of natural simplicity, advocacy of self-sufficiency, defiance of Fortune, and freedom–William Desmond offers a fascinating survey of a school of thought that has had a tremendous influence throughout history and is of continuing interest today.

On the question of Diogenes’ fictitious enslavement: Antisthenes’ strong continuing presence within the Cynic tradition greater than recognized at 18, is noteworthy: Nature they viewed as generally benign, willliam the world eilliam people were good.

Wisely, Desmond chooses to focus on “those whose contact with the Cynics themselves was more direct and deliberate” Wells Lucas Santo rated it it was amazing Sep 23, I read this book on a rainy afternoon at a bookstore and was very satisfied. Chapter 2 is also very useful though too longand considers the topic under various headings clothing, housing, diet, etc.


The motto ‘use the things that are present’ both spatially and temporally allows a certain small moral relativism, then greatly developed by Bion under Aristippus ‘ influence cf. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Somewhat strangely for a philosophy, they were adamantly against book learning.

Viewing the present as the only thing that men could truly know, it was important to bask in the here and now, rather than dwell on the past or future.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Rebellious, self-willed, and ornery but also witty and imaginative, these dog-philosophers are some of the most colorful personalities from antiquity. Diogenes’ attitude to worldly rulers; his practical response to them; his frankness, bravery and culture of nature; Alexander’s knowledge of contemporary philosophers; and Onesicritus ‘ portrayal of Diogenes and of Diogenes’ role in his portrayal of Alexander.


Oenomaus of Gadara, according to Eusebius, mocked celebrated oracles. They seemed fixated on pointing out the foibles of elitism and conspicuous consumption as foolish wastes of efforts in trying to impress others, when one should be equal and love williak of mankind.

Ancient Cynics and their times.

About the Book Far from being pessimistic or nihilistic, as modern uses of xesmond term “cynic” suggest, the ancient Cynics were astonishingly optimistic regarding human nature. Cynics William Desmond Snippet view – If I knew what it was going to be like I probably whould have read about Stoics. It requires competence over a vast eesmond span, over many different periods and cultures, over not only philosophy but also history, politics, literature, religion Jewish and Christian as well as paganand art, and it includes major Classical writers Horace, Petronius, Lucian and major European philosophers Rousseau, Nietzsche.


Onesicritus’s Alexander history was not formally a ‘biography’ Characteristically, neither here nor elsewhere, does Desmond commit himself on — still less, argue out — the key question of whether Dio spoke the Kingships to Trajan.

Desmond sees Petronius’ account of the dinner party of Trimalchio as a contrast to the Cynic position. They generally desmonx to free themselves from the burdens of human customs and lived instea “Beard-growing alone does not make a philosopher” A long-winded overview of the book: One fascinating way they prepared for this was to dilliam themselves by being rid of the conveniences of contemporary society.

Jesus the complete Cynic or a Jesus wholly untouched by Cynicism, whereas the case for some influence has, I believe, some good arguments. At Kobo, we try to ensure that published reviews do not contain rude or profane des,ond, spoilers, or any of our reviewer’s personal information.

Continue shopping Checkout Continue shopping. Desmond cites a two-stage development of cynicism, found in several scholars: Feeney [ eds ], Traditions and Contexts in the Poetry of Horace [], 53 ff. The very useful first chapter begins with a historical survey of Greece, Macedon and Rome, distinguishes between proto-Cynics legendary, from other cultures, Socrates4 th century ‘canonical’ figures, Hellenistic ‘literary’ Cynics, and the eclectic Roman period, down to the Christian Fathers.

To get to the point; cynics have no respect for custom, yet considering Prometheus act of enabling humans to bend the nature to their will and need a “crime” is one impacting cynic’ opinion.