Diogenes the Cynic: the war against the world

Front Cover
Humanity Books, Jul 30, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 260 pages
2 Reviews
For over eight hundred years, philosophers--men and women--who called themselves Cynics, literally "dogs" in their language, roamed the streets and byways of the Hellenistic world, teaching strange ideas and practicing a bizarre way of life. Among them, the most important and distinctive was Diogenes of Sinope, who became the archetype of Classical Cynicism. In this comprehensive, thoroughly researched, and engaging book, philosopher Luis E. Navia undertakes the task of reconstructing Diogenes' life and extracting from him lessons that are valuable in our time. The book is divided into five chapters. Chapter 1 provides a biographical sketch of Diogenes constructed on the basis of ancient testimonies. In Chapter 2, the practice of Cynicism, as exemplified by Diogenes, is elucidated. This "war against the world," as Navia describes it, especially the rhetoric of Cynicism, was the primary medium used by the Cynics to convey their message. Chapter 3 clarifies the roots and basis of the Cynic metamorphosis, that is, the process by which Diogenes transformed himself into a dog. This process involves complex psychological, sociological, and philosophical factors, chief among which was Socrates' influence on Diogenes through the agency of Antisthenes. In Chapter 5, the influence of Diogenes is discussed. Navia emphasizes the vast difference between Diogenes' ideas and style of life on the one hand and, on the other, what is nowadays called cynicism. The book provides abundant references to ancient testimonies and modern scholarship. It includes an extensively annotated translation of Diogenes Laertius's biography of Diogenes and a comprehensive bibliography.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Diogenes The Cynic: The War Against The World

User Review  - monica - Goodreads

Read in Portuguese(br) translation by Editora Odisseus. It's a very academic book ie things are explained in great detail and not much certainty is given about anything. I enjoyed how thorough was the book and the fact that its appendix includes Diogenes Laertius take on Diogenes of Sinope. Read full review

Review: Diogenes The Cynic: The War Against The World

User Review  - Pat - Goodreads

I didn't enjoy the excessive interpretation put on top of Diogenes. The uncertainty is unavoidable given how little we know, but I would have preferred a greater focus on the actions and sayings of Diogenes even if it had been a shorter book. Read full review

Contents

Preface
7
Hie Rhetoric of Cynicism
61
Diogenes Metamorphosis
93
Copyright

5 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2005)

LUIS E. NAVIA is Professor of Philosophy at New York Institute of Technology. He has written extensively in philosophy and is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences. His most recent books are The Philosophy of Cynicism (Greenwood, 1995), Classical Cynicism: A Critical Study (Greenwood, 1996), Diogenes of Sinope: The Man in the Tub (Greenwood, 1998), and The Adventure of Philosophy (Praeger, 1999).

Bibliographic information