'many men compete in digging and kicking but no one at all in the pursuit of human excellence.' Diogenes the Cynic is best remembered today for having lived in a storage-jar, and walking the streets with a lamp in daylight, looking for an honest man. Such stories formed part of a rich tradition of sayings and anecdotes; his biting wit and eccentric behaviour were legendary, and it was by means of these oft-repeated and embellished aphorisms that his moral teachings were transmitted. He scorned the conventions of civilized life, and his ascetic lifestyle and caustic opinions gave expression to the Cynic philosophy that in turn influenced Stoicism. This unique edition also covers Diogenes' immediate successors, such as Crates, his wife Hipparchia, and the witty moral preacher Bion. The contrasting teachings of the Cyrenaic school, founded by Aristippos, a pleasure-loving friend of Socrates, complete the volume, together with a selection of apocryphal letters. An ideal compendium of Socratic moral philosophy, this entertaining volume opens a window on to some surprisingly modern attitudes.
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Publisher: Oxford University Press