Quotes from Diogenes the Cynic  

Diogenes, also known as Diogenes the Cynic or Diogenes of Sinope, is a controversial Greek philosopher from 404-323 BC. He is one of the founders of cynic philosophy who questioned many of the cultural conventions of Athens.

Diogenes is best known for holding a lantern to the faces of the citizens of Athens claiming he was searching for an honest man. He rejected the concept of “manners” as a lie and advocated complete truthfulness at all times.

  • He has the most who is most content with the least.
  • It is the privilege of the gods to want nothing, and of godlike men to want little.
  • We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less.
  • I do not know whether there are gods, but there ought to be.
  • I know nothing, except the fact of my ignorance.
  • As a matter of self-preservation, a man needs good friends or ardent enemies, for the former instruct him and the latter take him to task.
  • Of what use is a philosopher who doesn’t hurt anybody’s feelings?
  • Dogs and philosophers do the greatest good and get the fewest rewards.
  • The mob is the mother of tyrants.
  • The sun, too, shines into cesspools and is not polluted.
  • The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.
  • It was a favorite expression of Theophrastus that time was the most valuable thing that a man could spend.
  • I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.

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