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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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 nature, and nature is good, she will provide for us if we trust her. This later claim seems to be a stretch.


He vilified Peregrinus, who had pursued both cynicism and Christianity. 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. 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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Cynics by William Desmond

Some comments on d etail s in Chapter 6: Desmond’s extended analyses of Lucian, hereas elsewhere, are a major strength of the book. Probably one of the most digestible books on an Ancient Greek Philosophy. Want to Read saving….

Fynics William Desmond Limited preview – Jan 03, Socraticgadfly rated it it was amazing.


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Similarly some thought nothing wrong with sex in the public arena, for if animals would do such a thing, it is natural and cannot be bad. Mathieu rated it it was amazing Jul 13, Taken as a whole, Desmond’s Cynics has many valuable elements. The following two chapters examine the two foundational principles of Cynicism: Cynics Volume 3 of Ancient philosophies.

Far from being pessimistic or nihilistic, as modern uses of the term “cynic” suggest, the ancient Cynics were astonishingly optimistic regarding human nature.

Introductions may perhaps legitimately flag arguable conclusions, though in the case of such a controversial topic as Cynicism an initial tabula rasa would in my view have been the better course. Are there basic principles necessary or sufficient to establish Cynic identity, or is Cynic identity based on a fluid family resemblance model? While the two can cohere, ‘right living’ being the goal of ancient philosophy generally Macleod, JRS 69 []such ‘living’ requires some underlying thinking.

Feb 12, Michael Lipford rated it liked it. Add the prospectus of this series, Ancient Philosophies: A life according to nature “kata physis” in Greek is a fundamental aspect of Cyinsm.

What we have is lots of scattered evidence of how Cynics appeared to their contemporaries and a hodgepodge of sayings, jokes, and stunts attributed to various individuals whose origin is uncertain. The title should be at deemond 4 characters long.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Desmond’s readers should have been more stringent. Further, especially given the prospectus, consideration should have been given to the question of whether Cynicism qualifies as a ‘school’ answer: It is, in other words, an introductory text to Cynicism specifically, but not to philosophy, or even ancient philosophy, in general.

To get to the point; cynics have no respect for custom, yet considering Prometheus act of enabling humans to bend the nature to their will and need a “crime” is one impacting cynic’ opinion.


Finally, the question of vulgarization and bowdlerization of the record should have been trailed: Item s unavailable for purchase. As for Hipparchia’later denigrators sneered that [Crates and Hipparchia ] had sex in public’ Once regarded as a minor Socratic school, Cynicism is now admired as one of the more creative and influential philosophical movements in antiquity.

To write a compendium to the Cynics covering their history from the 4 th century BCE to the 6 th century CE and their huge and diverse influence from their beginnings down the ages to the present day is an unspeakable task. Anyone who works on Cynicism at any level will find it extremely useful. Nature they viewed as generally benign, and the world and people were good.

Such evasions frustrate scholarly progress. University of California Press- History – pages. I like the idea of renouncing or at least questioning traditional customs but this seemed to delve into an area where things cynicz start to become counterproductive in everyday life.

The desond on claimed relationships between Cynicism and early Christianity should have ‘main-texted’ diatribe and Cynic influence on Paul convincingly expounded by Malherbe, referenced on Better editorial oversight could have done much to keep the book focused. Similarities of cynicism with Christianity are talked at length in this book, one very bold hypothesis in this instance for example, is that of considering Jesus a williaam. For example, when discussing the Roman period, the main figures are introduced in the following order: Dio Chrysostom did not criticize his friend Titus ‘for having a homosexual relationship with a boxer’