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© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Cynics: Selected full-text books and articles

Classical Cynicism: A Critical Study
Luis E. Navia.
Greenwood Press, 1996
A History of Cynicism from Diogenes to the 6th Century A.D.
Donald R. Dudley.
Methuen, 1937
Cynics, Paul, and the Pauline Churches: Cynics and Christian Origins II
F. Gerald Downing.
Routledge, 1998
Hellenistic Philosophies
Paul Elmer More.
Princeton University Press, 1923
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Cynics and Stoics"
History of Western Philosophy
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
R. W. Livingstone.
Clarendon Press, 1928
Librarian’s tip: Chap. III "The Cynics"
Lectures on the History of Philosophy: Greek Philosophy to Plato
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 History of Political Theory
George H. Sabine.
Holt Rinehart and Winston, 1961 (3rd edition)
Librarian’s tip: "The Cynics" begins on p. 136
The Literary Rebel
Kingsley Widmer.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1965
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "The Diogenes Style"
The Oxford Companion to Philosophy
Ted Honderich.
Oxford University Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: "Cynics" begins on p. 173
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