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Encyclopedia > Cynic


The Cynics (Greek: κῠνικός, Latin: cynici) were an influential school of ancient philosophers. They rejected the social values of their time, often flouting conventions in shocking ways to prove their point. A popular conception of the intellectual characteristics is the modern sense of "cynic," implying a sneering disposition to disbelieve in the goodness of human motives and a contemptuous feeling of superiority. Properly speaking though, it is possible to be a (philosophic) cynic without feeling superior. Cynics challenged listeners to get in touch with their instinct. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Cynicism (Greek κυνισμός) was originally the philosophy of a group of ancient Greeks called the Cynics, founded by Antisthenes. ... Cynic was a progressive/technical death metal band from Miami, Florida, USA that was founded in 1987 and dissolved in 1994. ... Latin was the language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ... In most educational systems, a School is a semi-automonous unit in a university which study a particular discipline, such the School of Journalism which studies journalism. ... A philosopher is a person who thinks deeply regarding people, society, the world, and/or the universe. ... The suckling of a newborn at its mothers nipple is an example of an instinctive behavior. ...

Contents

Origin

Their name is thought to be derived either from the building in Athens called Cynosarges, the earliest home of the school, or from the Greek word for a dog, "cyno" («κύων»,kýōn), in contemptuous allusion to the uncouth, aggressive, mordant manners adopted by the members of the school. Whichever of these explanations is correct, it is noticeable that the Cynics agreed in taking a dog as their common badge or symbol, as early as the tombstone of Diogenes of Sinope. Cynosarges was a public gymnasium in Ancient Athens. ... Headstones in the Japanese Cemetry in Broome, Western Australia A cemetery in rural Spain A typical late 20th century headstone in the United States A headstone, tombstone or gravestone is a marker, normally carved from stone, placed over or next to the site of a burial. ... Diogenes by John William Waterhouse, depicting his lamp, tub and diet of onions. ...


The importance of the school's principles lies not only in their intrinsic value as an ethical system, but also in the fact that they form the link between Socrates and the Stoics, between the essentially Greek philosophy of the 4th century BC and a system of thought which has exercised a profound and far-reaching influence on medieval and modern ethics. From the time of Socrates in unbroken succession up to the reign of Hadrian, the school was represented by men of strong individuality. The leading earlier Cynics were Antisthenes, Diogenes of Sinope, Crates of Thebes, and Zeno; in the later Roman period, the chief names are Demetrius (the friend of Seneca), Oenomaus and Demonax. All these men adhered steadfastly to the principles laid down by the Cynic School's founder, Antisthenes. Socrates (Greek: , invariably anglicized as , Sǒcratēs; circa 470–399 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher who is widely credited for laying the foundation for Western philosophy. ... A restored Stoa in Athens. ... (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) The 4th century BC started on January 1, 400 BC and ended on December 31, 301 BC. // Overview Events Bust of Alexander the Great in the British Museum. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times. ... Publius Aelius Traianus Hadrianus (January 24, 76 – July 10, 138), known as Hadrian in English, was a Stoic-Epicurean[] Roman emperor from 117 – 138, and a member of the gens Aelia. ... Portrait bust of Antisthenes Engraving of Antisthenes. ... Diogenes by John William Waterhouse, depicting his lamp, tub and diet of onions. ... Crates of Thebes, a Hellenistic philosopher, was one of the Cynics and the teacher of Zeno of Citium. ... Zeno of Citium Zeno of Citium (The Stoic) (sometime called Zeno Apathea) (333 BC-264 BC) was a Hellenistic philosopher from Citium, Cyprus. ... Demetrius, a Cynic philosopher, born at Sunium, who lived partly at Corinth and later in Rome during the reigns of Caligula, Nero and Vespasian. ... Bust, traditionally thought to be Seneca, now identified by some as Hesiod. ... In Greek mythology, King Oenomaus of Pisa was the son of Ares by Sterope (or by Harpina daughter of Phliasian Asopus) and father of Hippodamia. ... Demonax (born in Cyprus) was a Greek philosopher of the 2nd century BC. He tried to revive the philosophy of the Cynic school. ... Portrait bust of Antisthenes Engraving of Antisthenes. ...


Antisthenes

Antisthenes was a pupil of Socrates, from whom he imbibed the fundamental ethical precept that virtue, not pleasure, is the end of existence. He was, therefore, in the forefront of that intellectual revolution in the course of which speculation ceased to move in the realms of the physical and focused itself upon human reason in its application to the practical conduct of life. "Virtue," says Socrates, "is knowledge": in the ultimate harmony of morality with reason is to be found the only true existence of man. Antisthenes adopted this principle in its most literal sense, and proceeded to explain "knowledge" in the narrowest terms of practical action and decision, excluding from the conception everything except the problem of individual will realizing itself in the sphere of ordinary existence. Just as in logic the inevitable result was the purest nominalism, so in ethics he was driven to individualism, to the denial of social and national relations, and to the exclusion of scientific study and of almost all that the Greeks understood by education. This individualism he and his followers carried to its logical conclusion. The ordinary pleasures of life were for them not merely negligible but positively harmful inasmuch as they interrupted the operation of the will. Wealth, popularity and power tend to dethrone the authority of reason and to pervert the soul from the natural to the artificial. Man exists for and in himself alone; his highest end is self-knowledge and self-realization in conformity with the dictates of his reason, apart altogether from the state and society. For this end, disrepute and poverty are advantageous, in so far as they drive back the man upon himself, increasing his self-control and purifying his intellect from the dross of the external. The good man (i.e. the wise man) wants nothing: like the gods, he is self-sufficing; "let men gain wisdom—or buy a rope"; he is a citizen of the world, not of a particular country. Personification of virtue (Greek ἀρετή) in Celsus Library in Ephesos, Turkey Virtue (Latin virtus; Greek ) is moral excellence of a person. ... Gadabout redirects here. ... It has been suggested that reasoning be merged into this article or section. ... In philosophy, nominalism is the theory that abstract terms, general terms, or universals do not represent objective real existents, but are merely names, words, or vocal utterances (flatus vocis). ... Ethics (from the Ancient Greek Ä“thikos, the adjective of Ä“thos custom, habit), a major branch of philosophy, is the study of values and customs of a person or group and covers the analysis and employment of concepts such as right and wrong, good and evil, and responsibility. ... Individualism is a term used to describe a moral, political, or social outlook that stresses human independence and the importance of individual self-reliance and liberty. ... // The Unobservable Although the term social is a crucial category in social science and often used in public discourse, its meaning is often vague, suggesting that it is a fuzzy concept. ... For the scientific journal named Science, see Science (journal). ...


In logic Antisthenes was troubled by the problem of the One and the Many. A nominalist to the core, he held that definition and predication are either false or tautological. Ideas do not exist save for the consciousness which thinks them. "A horse," said Antisthenes, "I can see, but horsehood I cannot see." Definition is merely a circuitous method of stating an identity: Logic, from Classical Greek λόγος logos (the word), is the study of patterns found in reasoning. ... In philosophy, nominalism is the theory that abstract terms, general terms, or universals do not represent objective real existents, but are merely names, words, or vocal utterances (flatus vocis). ... Within the study of logic, a tautology is a statement containing more than one sub-statement, that is true regardless of the truth values of its parts. ...

"a tree is a vegetable growth" is logically no more than "a tree is a tree."

Supporters

Cynicism appears to have had a considerable vogue in Rome in the first and second centuries AD. Demetrius and Demonax are highly praised by Seneca and Lucian respectively. It is probable that these later the worst type. Thus, Cynicism in Rome was both the butt of the satirist and the ideal of the thinker. Look up AD, ad-, and ad in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Lucian Lucian of Samosata (Greek, Λουκιανὸς Σαμοσατεύς, Latin, Lucianus; c. ...


Cynicism emphasizes two principles: the absolute responsibility of the individual as the moral unit, and the autocracy of the will. These principles led Epictetus to commend Cynics as "athletes of righteousness". Furthermore, Cynicism is important as the precursor of Stoicism. The closeness of the connection is illustrated by Juvenal's epigram that a Cynic differed from a Stoic only by the absence of tunic. Zeno was also a pupil of Crates, from whom he learned the moral worth of self-control and indifference to sensual indulgence. Epictetus (c. ... A restored Stoa in Athens. ... Frontispiece depicting Juvenal and Persius, from a volume translated by John Dryden in 1711. ... Zeno is a Greek name derived from the more ancient variant Zenon. ...


This entry has been edited from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica. (Redirected from 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica) The Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica (1911) in many ways represents the sum of knowledge at the beginning of the 20th century. ...


External links

Look up Cynic in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
  • In Our Time on the Cynics
  • Christ and the Cynics

  Results from FactBites:
 
Cynic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1163 words)
Whichever of these explanations is correct, it is noticeable that the Cynics agreed in taking a dog as their common badge or symbol, as early as the tombstone of Diogenes of Sinope.
The leading earlier Cynics were Antisthenes, Diogenes of Sinope, Crates of Thebes, and Zeno; in the later Roman period, the chief names are Demetrius (the friend of Seneca), Oenomaus and Demonax.
The very essence of their philosophy was the negation of the graces of social courtesy; it was impossible to "return to nature" in the midst of a society clothed in the accumulated artificiality of evolved convention without shocking the ingrained sensibilities of its members.
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