Wednesday, 5 March 2008

how cynical can you get?

In the current issue of Philosophy Now, Tim Madigan argues that the Cynics were the precursors of modern-day environmentalism:

'The basic message of the Cynics was that one should live according to nature ...'

'The early school of Cynicism ... advocated a simple lifestyle, an enjoyment of worldly pleasures (including sexual activities of all sorts) and a disdain for political power.'

This 'puckish' spirit influenced the Epicureans, Romantics, Beat Generation and Hippies.

The most famous Cynic, Diogenes of Sinope (above), took low-impact living as far as it could go, priding himself on only having one possession - a drinking cup. When he saw a child using his hands to drink water, he got rid of the cup too.

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