A History of Cynicism – From Diogenes to the 6th Century A.D.

A History of Cynicism – From Diogenes to the 6th Century A.D. by Donald R. Dudley was published in 1937 and it is a general introduction to the Hellenistic philosophy of Cynicism. The book outlines the thoughts, philosophies, history and historical impact of Cynicism from days of Socrates in the late 5th century BC to the sixth century. Cynicism as a philosophical branch outlines a path for a life in virtue in accord with nature. The practitioners of Cynicism presented themselves as inheritors of the purest form of the ethical tradition of Socrates. Hence was constructed the ‘succession’ from Socrates to Antisthenes to Diogenes to Crates and Zeno.

However, it is difficult to define Cynicism as school since their thoughts were unconventional and even anti-theoretical. The cynical philosophers had contempt for social conventions, public opinion, received ideas and they were generally based on the rejection of hypocrisy or on disillusionment, often with an intention of provocation.

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 A History of Cynicism


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