Cynics (sĬn´Ĭks) [Gr.,=doglike, probably from their manners and their meeting place, the Cynosarges, an academy for Athenian youths], ancient school of philosophy founded c.440 BC by Antisthenes, a disciple of Socrates. The Cynics considered virtue to be the only good, not just the highest good as Socrates had asserted. To them, virtue meant a life of self-sufficiency, of suppression of desires and restriction of wants. The Cynics paraded their poverty, their antagonism to pleasure, and their indifference to others, thereby gaining a reputation for fanatical unconventionality. After Antisthenes the principal Cynics were Diogenes of Sinope and Crates, his pupil. The Cynics, who survived until the 6th cent. AD, influenced the Stoics, with whom they shared some philosophical objectives (see Stoicism).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2016, The Columbia University Press.

Cynics: Selected full-text books and articles

Classical Cynicism: A Critical Study By Luis E. Navia Greenwood Press, 1996
Hellenistic Philosophies By Paul Elmer More Princeton University Press, 1923
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Cynics and Stoics"
History of Western Philosophy By Bertrand Russell Routledge, 2004
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 26 "Cynics and Sceptics"
The Mission of Greece: Some Greek Views of Life in the Roman World By R. W. Livingstone Clarendon Press, 1928
Librarian’s tip: Chap. III "The Cynics"
Lectures on the History of Philosophy: Greek Philosophy to Plato By Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel; E. S. Haldane University of Nebraska Press, vol.1, 1995
Librarian’s tip: "The Cynic School" begins on p. 479
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
A History of Political Theory By George H. Sabine Holt Rinehart and Winston, 1961 (3rd edition)
Librarian’s tip: "The Cynics" begins on p. 136
The Literary Rebel By Kingsley Widmer Southern Illinois University Press, 1965
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "The Diogenes Style"
The Oxford Companion to Philosophy By Ted Honderich Oxford University Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: "Cynics" begins on p. 173
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator
Author Advanced search


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.