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Cynics has 77 ratings and 13 reviews. Leo said: Very good introduction to Cynicism (of the ancient kind, a school of philosophy having very little to do. William Desmond, Cynics, Acumen, , pp, $ (pbk), ISBN Reviewed by John Moles, Newcastle University. Far from being pessimistic or nihilistic, as modern uses of the term “cynic” suggest, the ancient Cynics were astonishingly optimistic regarding human nature.

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Only with the claim that identifies Jesus Christ as a Jewish Cynic does he balance the points of similarity with a set of disqualifying features.

I liked the earlier portions of the book on the lives of the ancient Cynics best and I of course wish more of their original writings survived as well as those of their contemporaries. In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Comment on this review in the BMCR blog. Cyinsm foreshadows Christian’s dogma of returning to the primordial unity, leaving all the futile behind, unconditionally love every human being, for we are part of the n In Christianity the great sin of man was his separation from nature.

You’ve successfully reported this review. This later discussion covers likenesses in a critical fashion being careful not too far reaching conclusions and finding them in early Christianity where we also find heavy criticism of at least some aspects of Cynicism and later in the renaissance with the renewed interest in classical Greek thought besides the church endorsed philosophy of Plato and Aristotle.

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Desmond cites a two-stage development of cynicism, found in several scholars: Dio Chrysostom’s and Lucian’s expropriation of Cynic figures are heavily utilized, as elsewhere in the book. They had sex in public, they deficated where they stood and did everything they could to put “it in the man’s face” sort of thing. I don’t know what I expected, but Great overview of Cynic history.

They generally tried to free themselves from the burdens of human customs and lived instea “Beard-growing alone does not make a philosopher” A long-winded overview of the book: The central chapters locate major Cynic themes nature and willixm natural life, Fortune, self-sufficiency, cosmopolitanism within the rich matrix of ideas debated cyhics the ancient schools.


Cynics by William Desmond – Paperback – University of California Press

Chi ama i libri sceglie Kobo e inMondadori. The pages on claimed relationships between Cynicism and early Christianity should have ‘main-texted’ diatribe and Cynic influence on Paul convincingly expounded by Malherbe, referenced on Sep 16, Andrew rated it liked it. Of course, we have very little reliable information regarding the actual beliefs of the early Cynics or even whether it was a coherent movement.

Approaching Cynicism from a variety of thematic perspectives as well—their critique of convention, praise of natural simplicity, advocacy of self-sufficiency, defiance of Fortune, and freedom—William Desmond offers a fascinating survey of a school of thought that has had a tremendous influence throughout history and is of continuing interest today. As Cynic, politician and law-makerCercidas 35 deserves fuller treatment, especially as fairly substantial fragments survive.

Many of the gaps are plugged in the ‘further reading’; see also now L. Demetrius was hardly ‘the first “true” Cynic after a hiatus of some two hundred years’ 50 ; see Moles, JHS ff. Desmond makes interesting observations about the Cynics’ ‘democratic populism’ However, there are two features of the work that limit its value as an introductory text.

The ancient Cynics present special challenges for an introductory text.

Feb 12, Michael Lipford rated it liked it. Finally, Desmond addresses the “new search for the historical Jesus” types like John Dominic Crossan, who wil,iam Jesus was the Jewish equivalent of a Cynic sage, and finds them largely wanting.

He argues that the Satyricon is “in many ways a Cynic novel” that possesses “many quasi-Cynic elements” The brilliant satirist, Lucian of Samosata, admired Diogenes as well as Menippus of Gadara while demond contemporaries.

Some comments on details in Chapter 1: Chapter 6 is inevitably a highly selective gallop, with individual stops, from Stoicism to Sloterdijkand, finally, Naviaboth of whom argue for the value, even the necessity, of Cynic thinking desmons today’s world, thereby ending the book on an uplifting note.

Dio Chrysostom did not criticize his friend Titus ‘for having a homosexual cyhics with a boxer’ Cynics interpreted the motto primitivistically ; n.


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Although this familiar story is found in Diogenes Laertius, who wrote hundreds of years after Alexander and Diogenes, Desmond points out that the story contains an elemental idea of ancient cynicism: It was a life exemplified most famously by the eccentric Diogenes, nicknamed “the Dog,” and his followers, called dog-philosophers, kunikoi, or Cynics.

Dsemond review Peder G. Desmond has done a service by making their thought more accessible. Such evasions frustrate scholarly progress.

While Desmond rightly stresses the schizophrenic appearance of Antisthenes’ thought, ‘the ancient tradition’ that ‘Antisthenes was the first Cynic’, though dominantis not ‘unanimous’ Which This is a very good introduction to Capital-C Cynicism the philosophy, which is much different in many ways from cynicism the social behavior, though Cynics did at times act in a way that we might today call specifically cynical.

Close Report a review At Kobo, we try to ensure that published reviews do not contain rude or profane language, spoilers, or any of our reviewer’s personal information. This engaging introduction to Willim considers both the fragmentary ancient evidence cybics the Cynics and the historical interpretations that have shaped the philosophy over the course of eight centuries—from Diogenes himself to Nietzsche and beyond.

Crews rated it cnics liked it Jan 22, Despite the varied personalities of Cynics and their admirers, Desmond finds a unity underlying multiplicity.

Desmond supports this surprising claim by the many references to dogs in the passage and the appearance of the term “pera”. The problem of identifying some minimal conditions for Cynic identity becomes most pronounced in the final chapter. More interesting were the implications of Cynics interacting with williqm world, particularly the political world, and how various Cynic views reverberated down to the present day.